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    Immigrant-owned businesses are key to our success

    Immigrant-owned businesses are key to our success

    Immigrant-owned businesses are key to our success as a city.

    Unless you are from one of the indigenous tribes of North America, you or your family immigrated here. Only 2% of the current US population is Native American, so this means that the rest of us are immigrants to descendants of immigrants. And this is what makes America beautiful.

    Sioux Falls has a relatively young history nearly completely built by immigrants. Dutch, German, Norwegian, Irish, and Swedish families largely made up the first few generations of immigrants here. More recently people from all over the world have decided to call Sioux Falls home. And this makes Sioux Falls beautiful.

    And thank goodness for places like Sanaa's and Gilberto's for sharing cuisine from other countries with us. Thank goodness for Rug & Relic bringing us rich Turkish goods to delight our senses.

    And I'll be honest. It isn't easy, even when you are a citizen, to be an entrepreneur. To find a product or service you are passionate about and that meets the needs of a group of customers. Then to have cultural and language barriers on top...

    It is with honor that I bring to you my Italian craftsman-made goods. To know that my family's culture is stitched right into every product I sell brings me great joy.

    We are fortunate in Sioux Falls to have authentic experiences that respect someone's heritage. It is the truth within these products that bring a smile to our face and delight our senses.

    I would have never guessed that growing up in a small town in Italy would some day lead me here to be with you.

    Thank you for letting me share my culture. Thank you for sharing yours.

    If you have a moment this week, stop down to the boutique. I'd love to learn how you and your family ended up in Sioux Falls. I'd love to share my story.

    And when you are fortunate enough to do business with a first generation immigrant thank them. Thank them for continuing America's story. Thank them for making your town and your life more rich, more beautiful.

    I think moving here, becoming a citizen, and then opening a business is the most truly American thing you can do.