A new study by the “New American Economy” is showing immigrants are having a significant impact on the Harrisonburg Metropolitan Area economy.
In 2016, there were 12,599 immigrants in the metro area, which is nearly 10% of the population. Between 2011 and 2016, the immigrant population grew by 73.2% with a contribution of more than 780 million dollars to the Harrisonburg metro area gross domestic product in 2016.
In 2016, those immigrants made up almost 10% of the overall population, but nearly 14% of the entrepreneurs in the community. They were also 12.5% of the employed workforce.
Frank Tamberrino, the executive director of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, says this data gives them a good foundation for economic growth.
“How can we as a community and organizations, city, county, chamber, small business development center and other, help those people get into businesses and again start creating some additional jobs and economic opportunities?” asked Tamberrino of what they want to look at with the study information.
Immigrants also contributed to federal, state and local taxes in 2016, with nearly $40 million in federal taxes and nearly $20 million in state and local taxes. This leaves them with nearly $200 million in spending power.
Watch the full report from WHSV: “Study: Immigrants have significant economic impact on Harrisonburg Metro Area”