Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Immigrant Entrepreneurs Shape a New Economy

By NINA BERNSTEIN for the New York Times, Published: February 6, 2007

...As the flow of immigrants to suburban and small-town America outpaces the growth of bustling ethnic centers in New York, many foreign-born entrepreneurs like the Mirandas are facing an unfamiliar crossroads. In the city, rising rents and density hamper growth, while swelling ethnic enclaves in the suburbs generate competitors. Yet in other places, opportunity beckons as never before, as immigrants expand the tastes of mainstream America.

Whether these businesses exploit the new chances to break out or succumb to the new perils, the city’s economy will feel the effects...

...Other companies, like Rajbhog Foods, which started as a mom-and-pop Indian sweets shop in Jackson Heights, Queens, seem to be on the edge of a similar breakthrough, even as they struggle with rising costs and shifting immigration patterns.

“Two steps forward and then back one step,” said Sachin Mody, the chief executive and son of the founders. “That is the hardest part, to keep hurdling and keep evolving.”...

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