AEDC: supporting immigrants part of recession solution

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Anchorage, (KTUU) There are many elements to the Anchorage community that the Anchorage Economic Develop Corporation says makes it stronger including; public education, safety, the health of the community, the arts and the immigrant population. It’s most recent statistics from 2014 show foreign-born residents contributed $1.9 billion of the city’s $13 billion economy.

“It’s part of the solution, you know embracing our immigrant communities is going to be part of the solution that I think will help us find our way out of the current recession and help to expand our economy in the future,” said Bill Popp with AEDC.

Along with the municipality’s Welcoming Cities Initiative AEDC is working to bring the immigrant population into the “mainstream of business.”

“So we can support them more in their entrepreneurial endeavors, help them to improve workforce skills and to make them an even bigger engine of our economy,” said Popp.

AEDC says more can be done to support foreign-born residents, especially new members of the city.

“The opportunities that abound for them to start up a new business, to become more part of the community and more contributing to the community, I think that’s an important opportunity for us that we need to work on a little bit more, especially in these difficult times,” said Popp.

AEDC reports more than $27 million in state and local taxes came from Anchorage immigrants who have $573 million in spending power.

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