Governor Patrick Honors State’s Immigrant and Refugee Business Owners with Third Annual Declaration of Immigrant Entrepreneurship Month and issues proclamation at JVS in event attended by immigrant entrepreneurs and leaders of state offices and non-profits
BOSTON, MA – For the third year in a row, Governor Deval Patrick declared October 15 to November 15 as Immigrant Entrepreneurship Month, thereby honoring the hard work, creativity and economic contributions of immigrant and refugee business owners in the Commonwealth. The event was hosted at Jewish Vocational Service, and included three successful immigrant entrepreneurs, along with several leaders of state offices and of non-profit organizations. The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition participated along with the Office of Refugees and Immigrants, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, the Governor’s Advisory Council on Refugees and Immigrants, the Immigrant Learning Center, Inc., and the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation.
The Governor drew attention to attending business owners from Armenia, the Dominican Republic and Kenya. “I’ve read your remarkable stories,” Governor Patrick said of Suren Masumyan (SurriMassini, Inc.), Victoria Amador (Tremendous Maids), and Charles Mwangi (Comfort Care Resource Group), whom he thanked for “building a stronger Commonwealth.” The three business owners’ success stories demonstrated the major role immigrant-owned businesses have in the state’s economy, generating $2.8 billion each year and accounting for 14 percent of the Commonwealth’s income.
The Governor also recognized the key role of non-profit organizations in supporting that economic impact, including the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), which was represented at the event by MIRA’s Executive Director, Eva Millona.
“We want to applaud Governor Patrick for his leadership in immigrant entrepreneurship, and we thank him deeply for his kind words on MIRA’s work and our contribution to immigrant integration,” Ms. Millona said. “We are especially proud for this recognition today, a date that also commemorates the foundation of MIRA’s New Americans Integration Institute, which we launched at the Governor’s first declaration of Immigrant Entrepreneurship Month in 2011.”
“We also want to thank the hosts of the event, Jewish Vocational Services, and Josiane Martinez, Director of the Office of Refugee and Immigrants, for her thoughtful comments today, especially about the important Massachusetts Refugee Enterprise Achievement Program. We were delighted to stand with her and all the leaders from state offices and non-profit organizations that have done so much to make Massachusetts one of the most successful states in the nation for immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs.”