Why Australia's small businesses are hiring migrants

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About 42 cents of every dollar on average spent at a small business is reinvested back into the local community, new research shows.

A new survey has found almost half of every dollar spent at a small business is reinvested back into the local community.

The survey also shows more than a quarter of small business owners say foreign workers drive innovation within their business.

Twenty six per cent of small business owners polled in the independent study commissioned by American Express said migrants improved productivity and 21 per cent said they brought specific skillsets difficult to find locally.

Peter Strong, from the Council of Small Business Australia, says businesses that employ migrant workers add to cultural diversity.

"A lot of Australians go overseas and they work overseas. Migrant workers bring different food, different cultures, different ways of doing things, they're obviously learning from us as they go along and it just adds to that wonderful diversity that is Australia," he told SBS News.

The study also found 42 cents of every dollar on average spent at a small business is poured back into that local community - whether through charities, sponsoring schools or local sporting teams, or employing residents or contracting local suppliers.

Sydney-based baker Christian Bonne is among them, sponsoring a local police AFL team through his French bakery in Surry Hills.

"I am part of this community and I like to give back when I can," he said.

Mr Bonne also employs French workers because he wants to give customers the "authentic" French experience when they visit.

"Because the product is French and your staff is French, when you stop in Surry Hills for coming in my bakery, (I want people to feel) you are in France," he said.

Mr Strong says migrant-owned businesses love giving back.

"They love giving to people - they understand people will give back as well. If you sponsor a local football team (they know) they will come and buy your pies," he said.

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