Two out of every three jobs are created by small businesses. Over half of this country works for or owns a small business.
The American Jobs Act that the President announced to Congress is a powerful, bipartisan proposal that will help create jobs and put America back to work. It will create new job opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the country. The President put a strong emphasis on providing new and better tools to help small businesses create jobs as part of the American Jobs Act because he understands the importance of small businesses to our economic recovery.
For the last two and a half years, I’ve met hundreds of small business owners across the country, including many Asian Americans, while working for the US Small Business Administration. Like many diverse communities throughout the U.S., I know that AAPI communities have a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit that continues to grow and strengthen our economy even in the face of tough times. With 1.5 million AAPI-owned businesses in the United States generating more than $507 billion dollars in sales, and employing more than 2.8 million workers, the success of AAPI-owned businesses is critical to the future growth of our economy.
A great example of an AAPI business owner taking a company and turning it into an economic engine of our country is Geomagic. Geomagic was co-founded in 1997 by Ping Fu, an entrepreneur in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina. Ping took her experience with software and turned it into a company that now employs 80 people and has tens of millions of dollars in revenue. Ping is a perfect example of an entrepreneur who built a company from the ground up, something that we at the SBA are trying to help people do every day.
SBA Administrator Karen Mills – my boss – put out a blog post after the President’s speech that lays out key parts of the American Jobs Act that will help entrepreneurs and small business owners, specifically. And, in fact, I encourage you to review all of the benefits of the American Jobs Act to see the benefits it has for the American people. It’s going to take a collective effort from all of us to get our economy back to prosperity, and the small businesses in our diverse AAPI communities – and other communities across the country – have a huge role to play in achieving this goal.
Chris Chan is the Special Advisor for Public Engagement in the Office of Communication and Public Liaison, Small Business Administration (SBA).