With Thanksgiving and Small Business Saturday around the corner, it’s a great season to highlight Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) small businesses. This day is a great reminder of the small businesses that help keep our economy running.
In 2007, the U.S. Census Bureau conducted a Survey of Business Owners, which revealed that between 2002 and 2007, Asian-owned businesses increased at a rate of twice the national average (40.4 percent), bringing in more than half a trillion dollars in sales. The survey also found that Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (NHPI) owned businesses generated 6.5 billion dollars in sales and grew at a rate of 31.1 percent, above the national average.
The success of the AAPI small business community continues to fuel our economy, and the Administration continues to explore partnerships to accelerate this growth. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ACE). This partnership will play a key role in connecting AAPI business owners and entrepreneurs with opportunities to expand or start their business.
In order to increase the AAPI business community’s access to federal resources, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI) is partnering with SBA and other federal agencies to launch specific programs for the community in the coming year. For example, WHIAAPI is embarking on a series of community roundtables with our Regional Interagency Working Group. We are excited about utilizing these roundtables to engage AAPI business leaders across the country and learn about the challenges they face and the ways in which we can help.
Congratulations to our AAPI small business owners, and Happy Small Business Saturday!
Michele Chang is the Chief of Staff at the U.S. Small Business Administration.