As a state, Nevada is heavily dependent on and populated by immigrants, many of whom are business owners and entrepreneurs. Nevada’s immigrant population has exploded since 1990, when it was just 8.7%, to 19.3% in 2014. As of August 2016, there were about 548,186 immigrants living in Nevada, and they comprise about one-fifth of the state’s total population. Although Nevada immigrants work in every conceivable industry, making up over 56% of the state’s food industry workers, 72% of maids and housekeepers, and 47% of bellhops, concierges, and porters, they tend to lean towards the entrepreneurial side. Foreign Entrepreneurs, due to the difficulties associated with immigration, are often skilled at overcoming challenges, and are able to clear the many hurdles involved with owning and operating a business.
Nevada Immigration Economic Contribution
Nevada is no stranger to the innovation and successes of immigrant entrepreneurs, one of the most notable of whom is Jakie Friedman, the Russian founder of Las Vegas Sands, a Fortune 500 gaming company. Two more of Nevada’s four Fortune 500 companies; Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International, were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants. These companies alone employ about 176,000 people and earn about $33 billion annually.
Although foreign born workers comprise 19.3% of the state population, they are an economic asset which comprised 29.9% of all Nevada entrepreneurs in 2014. The companies owned and operated by these foreign entrepreneurs took in about $795.3 million during the same year. Over one of every five dollars paid towards state and local taxes in Nevada in 2014 was earned by an immigrant, and immigrants earned about $13.2 billion, or about 19.3% of total Nevada earnings. Immigrants support their local economies by both contributing substantial tax revenue (about $1.8 billion), and wielding considerable spending power (about $10.3 billion) within their local markets. Hispanic immigrants represent both the largest population segment and largest amount earned in 2014 ($6.2 billion), followed by Asians ($4.2 billion), Middle Easterners and North Africans ($419.8 million), and Sub-Saharan Africans ($326.4 million).
Because they tend to be of typical working age, between 25 and 64, immigrants are 45.9% more likely to be in the workforce than Nevada locals. They are more likely to be degree holders, and, therefore, more likely to contribute towards high-demand industries, such as STEM fields. Nevada’s foreign entrepreneurs, including E-2 treaty investor visa holders, L-1 visa executives/business owners, and EB-5 investors, are job creators who help the local economy and who are drawn to the state’s unique culture, which is centered around Clark County and Las Vegas.
Las Vegas Overview
Known the world over as “Sin City,” Las Vegas has a venerable reputation as the ultimate indulgent getaway. It is renowned for its vibrant nightlife, gambling opportunities, shopping, fine dining, and unique themed hotels, like the Luxor, which is modeled after the Egyptian pyramids, and the Venetian, which is Italian themed and includes impressive features like indoor gondola boat rides. When most people think of Las Vegas, they can’t help but picture splurging on having a fabulous time.
Las Vegas also caters to those seeking more conservative entertainment. It hosts numerous museums, like the Discovery Children’s Museum, the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, and the Neon Museum. It also has an expansive Downtown Arts District, which holds events like the Las Vegas Film Festival and is home to several galleries. People who enjoy the outdoors have access to four golf courses and 68 parks, including the nearby Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, which offers beautiful views.
Las Vegas Economy
Las Vegas has a permanent population of about 583,756 people, and it is the economic and cultural center of Clark County and Southern Nevada. Its median household income is about $58,432, and the majority of its residents work in the tourism industry. In 2015, Las Vegas saw a massive 42.31 million visitors, all of whom injected funds into the local economy, therefore helping to support entrepreneurs and business owners in the area. Las Vegas hosts a huge number of conventions for every conceivable interest, including the Solar Energy Trade Show, the ABC Kids Expo, the Global Academy for Medical Education Meeting, the Safari Club International Hunter’s Convention, and many more. Conventions like these help to bolster other local industries, like Las Vegas’s impressive range of restaurants and retail establishments.
Las Vegas was hit hard by the Great Recession, but it has recovered admirably. Its current job growth is slightly higher than that of the U.S. as a whole, at 1.88%, and its future job growth over the next decade is expected to grow by 36.2%. Construction and expansion are beginning to gain traction once more, and projects like the $4 billion Resorts World Las Vegas development, which is due to be completed in 2018, are expected to attract even more visitors from around the globe. Priorities for Las Vegas consumers have shifted post-recession, and revelers are more likely to spend their money in restaurants, nightclubs, and other establishments than on gambling, presenting opportunities for entrepreneurs who provide in-demand products and services.
Support for Nevada Immigrants
Nevada recognizes the valuable perspectives, high levels of education, and willingness to work hard that immigrants and foreign entrepreneurs bring to the table. Immigrants have access to ample local support via the Nevada Immigrant Coalition, which helps them every step of the way. This organization holds meetings in Las Vegas and Reno on the third Friday of each month, and is dedicated to keeping immigrants informed about their rights, changes to local and federal regulations, and more.
Overall, Nevada, particularly in the Las Vegas area, presents endless opportunities for immigrant entrepreneurs who plan to provide goods or services meant to appeal to the massive influx of tourists present in the area, as well as those who focus on STEM fields. For immigrants working in these fields, the Silver State can serve as an excellent home base.
About the JDC Consultancy U.S. State Featurettes
Moving to the United States to make a new start as an immigrant entrepreneur is a challenging process. Visa applicants face a huge number of critical decisions before submitting their visa application, one of the most important of which is deciding which State will offer the best environment for their business to grow and thrive, and provide the optimal environment for their families. Each State has its own opportunities and industry specializations, and a company that sees tremendous growth in one State might not see the same results in another.
In order to help its clients decide which State will serve as the most advantageous home base, both for their businesses and their families, and further streamline the visa application process, JDC Consultancy publishes brief overviews of what each State has to offer its immigrant entrepreneurs. These featurettes showcase each State’s strengths, in this case, Nevada – Las Vegas, and provide valuable insight and statistics to help immigrant entrepreneurs make the all-important decision of which State they, and their businesses, should call home.