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3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: June 15

Tickers in this article: AXP

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- What's happening in small business today?

1. Immigrants own nearly one in five U.S. small businesses. A report by the Fiscal Policy Institute confirms a growing and much-talked about trend: Immigrants own 18% of small businesses with fewer than 100 employees, according to Bloomberg.

The report, released Thursday, used data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2010 American Community Survey. The number of small businesses rose 58%, to 4.9 million, in 2010 compared with 1990, according to Bloomberg, citing the report.

There were also regional and industry patterns found by the Institute's research. Mediterranean and Middle Eastern people were more likely to own a small business compared with other ethnicities. Immigrants owned 28% of small businesses in the leisure and hospitality fields -- the largest amount in any industry, Bloomberg says.

The findings coincide with recent Kauffman Foundation report that said immigrant entrepreneurs were behind 28% of start-ups last year.

2. NYC Teaming launches. The NYC Department of Small Business Services and American Express (AXP) OPEN will hold the first citwide initiative Tuesday to spur government contract teaming among small businesses. The goal is to match small businesses as "teams" to bid -- and win -- more government contracting work.

A recent OPEN survey found that small-business contractors who engage in teaming relationships win 50% more contracts than active contractors overall.

The event, held at AmEx's downtown Manhattan headquarters, is open to all business owners in the tri-state area, not just AmEx customers. There are more than 200 small business owners registered to attend, and registration will remain open through the day of the event.

Business owners from a variety of industries including construction, professional services and IT will have the opportunity to meet with potential buyers and listen in on sessions that will advise business owners how to best select a partner.

3. What to do when your local demographics won't support business growth? It's a challenge many small-business owners and entrepreneurs face, and while the challenge is tough, there are solutions, according to Rhonda Abrams, president of The Planning Shop and contributor to USA Today .

Abrams says small-business owners should start by expanding to a broader audience and get online. Of course certain services, such as cutting hair, can be done only in person, but many products can be sold online or at a second location.

She also suggests that business owners focus on a specialty, which might sound counterintuitive when trying to expand, but "by targeting a specific industry or demographic group for your product or service, you can serve a larger geographic area," she writes.

For those business owners who want to operate over state lines, for instance, be sure to understand regulations and get proper permits or licenses. This is one example of improving your infrastructure to support growth.