Immigrant Entrepreneurs Bring Millions To Tulsa's Economy, Report Shows
TULSA, Oklahoma - New numbers just released show one group of Tulsa entrepreneurs is pumping tens of millions of dollars into the local economy.
As far as the Tulsa population — immigrants accounted for almost 28 percent of overall growth in the area from 2010 to 2015.
And with that growth they're bringing quite an economic impact as well.
In just 10 years, Manuel Gomez has opened three stores in Tulsa and will open a fourth in a few months.
"We are completely satisfied and happy because Tulsa really received us with a lot of potential," Gomez said.
A new report shows more than 4,000 immigrant entrepreneurs in the Tulsa area generated $55 million in business income in 2015.
"It shows the importance of the immigrant community and to have a diverse community and I'm proud to be part of that," said Pete Patel.
Patel, CEO of Promise Hotels, has nine locations the Tulsa area and is involved in the development of three to four more.
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum feels there is still more work to do to support these entrepreneurs, so he launched the New Tulsan's Initiative that kicked off Wednesday.
"Tulsa has never been a more international city than it is right now," Bynum said.
The first-of-its-kind summit drew dozens of people from communities across Tulsa to get a dialogue started on how the city can better support immigrants and their business ventures.
"It is one of the fastest growing communities in Tulsa. In fact if it wasn't for the growth of the immigrant community in Tulsa in the last decade we would've lost population," Bynum said.
"I think he's pointing in the right direction and it is the right thing to do," Gomez said. "We can see why we see it we know it we're doing more business because of that and so we are thankful for that."