06/14/2012 03:09 pm ET Updated Jun 14, 2012

Immigrant Entrepreneurship On The Rise In US: Study

Immigrants are assuming a bigger role on Main Street, according to a new report from the Fiscal Policy Institute's Immigration Research Initiative.

Immigrants now make up 18 percent of small-business owners in the United States, a six percent increase from 20 years ago.

The report found that 37 percent of immigrant entrepreneurs own a restaurant, 49 percent own grocery stores and 54 percent own laundry and dry cleaning services.

"With immigrants making up one in six of all small business owners, a climate that is hostile to immigrants is also a climate that is bad for business," said Frank Mauro, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute in a statement.

The report highlights the fact that immigrant businesses are no longer concentrated near traditional entry points and have spread far beyond metropolitan areas. Additionally, the breadth of cultures and countries of origin has grown, though immigrants from the Middle East, Asia and Southern Europe have the highest rates of US business ownership.