California legislation that seeks to end a popular service called zero-rating threatens to raise consumer bills by $360/year.

Posted on August 2, 2018 by - News, Public Policy

That’s why CalAsian Chamber has expressed concerns over SB822 and SB460. Learn more here.

Legislation to ban “zero-rated” free streaming data impacts 3.6 million consumers

A recently released analysis, Benefits to California Consumers from Zero-Rated Data, authored by Dr. David W. Sosa, Ph.D., shows 3.6 million Californians are benefiting today from “zero-rated” free streaming.


…these types of zero-rating services disproportionately” impact minority and lower income consumers that “are more reliant on smartphones to access the internet.”


Proposed legislation in California, Senate Bill 822, would ban these types of plans. The findings from Dr. Sosa show that a ban on these types of zero-rating services would “disproportionately” impact minority and lower income consumers that “are more reliant on smartphones to access the internet.” Some of these consumers could have to pay $30 per month more.

According to the study, “24% of Asian American Californians with a broadband connection rely exclusively on smartphones and mobile broadband services to access the internet”.


Check out what our friends at CalInnovates put together to show the potential impact of SB 822:



MWBC: (Lack of) Access to Capital

Posted on July 16, 2018 by - Chamber Blog, News, Uncategorized

Access to capital is one of the greatest barriers faced by minority business owners, and one of the largest reasons they fail to grow.

Minority-owned businesses are found to pay higher interest rates on loans. They are also more likely to be denied credit, and are less likely to apply for loans because they fear their applications will be denied. Further, minority-owned firms are found to have less than half the average amount of recent equity investments and loans than non-minority firms even among firms with $500,000 or more in annual gross receipts, and also invest substantially less capital at startup and in the first few years of existence than non-minority firms.

  • Minority Business Development Agency


 minority womens business conference

Hear from leaders Betty Yee, State Controller, Fiona Ma, California Board of Equalization, and more on what their take on this challenge is and what can be done September 6 at our Minority Women’s Business Conference.

Subscribe for our blog content and newsletter to receive more Minority Women in Business insights as we get closer to the event date!

MWBC: 70% of Women Owned Businesses have annual receipts of less than $25K and Only 10% have employees

Posted on July 2, 2018 by - News


according to the Women’s Chamber of Commerce “Wake Up Call” Report.


28% of all women-owned businesses are operated by women of color, but there’s a large disparity between what this percentage reaps in annually. The gap between revenue between minority women and white women-owned business revenue is gigantic – it’s a gulf, not a gap.


Table Courtesy of 2017 US Women’s Chamber of Commerce “Wake Up Call Report”


What is causing this gap?


“Women now own some 30% of all businesses in the U.S. accounting for 9. 4 million firms. And African-American women control 14% of these companies or an estimated 1. 3 million businesses,” said Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence at the 2017 Creating the Conditions for Minority Women Entrepreneurs to Succeed Symposium held by the Democratic Women’s Working Group. “Despite these numbers minority female entrepreneurs start their ventures with less funding than men, receive less money from private investors and have lack of access to capital and peer and mentorship networks,” Lawrence said.  “We need to create an environment where minority women are encouraged to grow their businesses which generate jobs and economic security in their communities.”


While Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence summarizes this perfectly, the true scope of our challenge can’t be explained in just a few words – so we’ve decided to explain it at a conference.


On September 6, 2018, in San Jose, the CalAsian Chamber in partnership with National ACE will be presenting our first ever Minority Women’s Business Conference – an event we can assure you has our entire staff inspired and excited.


While both the CalAsian Chamber and National ACE  have been part of large initiatives to advocate for and empower the minority community, never have we purely focused on the minority women community. Both organizations are led by minority women, Chiling Tong and Pat Fong Kushida, who have made it their mission to not only host this event but also, to educate our memberships of the challenges minority women in business face.


In an effort to highlight the challenges posed to minority women-owned businesses, and spread the word about our event, our staff is putting together a series of blog posts, discussing the current state of affairs for minority women in business today and what ideas have been proposed so far.


Minority-owned businesses are an engine of employment in minority communities. If given the opportunity to truly grow and flourish, we can revitalize minority communities and diversify the workforce.


Let’s Reinvent What’s Possible.


Hear from leaders Betty Yee, California State Controller, Fiona Ma, Member of the California Board of Equalization and more on what their take on this challenge is and what can be done September 6 at our Minority Women’s Business Conference.


Subscribe to receive blog content and newsletters discussing minority women in business insights as we get closer to the event date!

YouTube Holds First Ever Asians on Youtube Celebration in Honor of API Heritage Month

Posted on June 1, 2018 by - News, Uncategorized


The influencer is one of the most interesting forms of industry. Since YouTube’s inception in 2005, young creators have been sharing video content and gaining followings in massive amounts. This sharing format elicited such large and dedicating followings have caught the attention of advertisers, sponsors, and more. 


Asian Americans have played a substantial role in the growth of YouTube and hold some of the highest subscriber counts on the website – and YouTube has noticed. For the first time ever, YouTube held a celebration in honor of AAPI Creators, where attendees gathered for dinner and awarded Jason Y. Lee of Jubilee Media, makers of the “Both Sides” series that went viral last year,  his 1,000,000 follower plaque. We here at the CalAsian Chamber would like to congratulate these AAPI entrepreneurs for all their success and thank them for representing the Asian American Community.


See more of what happened below:







CalAsian Chamber Listening Tour with Assemblymember Phil Ting

Posted on May 30, 2018 by - News

May 25, 2018, SAN FRANCISCO –

The CalAsian Chamber convened a business roundtable conversation with Assemblymember Phil Ting in his district in San Francisco on Friday, May 25th. In attendance were a mix of local small businesses, economic development organizations, API community partners, and Asian media outlets.

San Francisco’s small business community is thriving and its diversity is a huge part of the city’s character, making it a place where people want to live and work. But rising rents, lack of adequate housing, and growing congestion are a few of the challenges local businesses face.

The CalAsian Chamber is grateful for Assemblymember Ting’s support of small businesses, especially as traditional models are being disrupted and businesses are looking to adapt. Today’s event is a great example of inclusive dialogue that gives voice to the local business community and the partners who work hard to support them.

Topics of discussion included: urban congestion, adequate housing, empty storefronts, the gig economy, homelessness, small business lending, and education infrastructure.


Urban Congestion

Beyond adding transportation infrastructure, which is a long-term solution, what can be done in the short-term? Many city workers live outside of the city and commute in since there is probably a 40% premium for living in the city; in addition, the rise in the popularity of ride-sharing has brought many more cars into the city to meet consumer demand. The city can accommodate more pedestrians and bikers, and solutions must encourage these forms of transportation.


SF only has shelter beds for about 30% of its homeless population on any given night. It is a crisis and there needs to be a longer-term solution; Assemblymember Ting is hopeful, but residents must take a hard look at the best use of space – commercial vs. residential as well as how to support inclusive development.

Empty Storefronts and the Gig Economy

There has been a shift in how people shop and businesses must adjust to this new reality. We must be able to differentiate between transitional and permanent state funding to facilitate this transition. In addition, opening businesses in SF is an onerous process and need to be streamlined. The state must figure out how to regulate the new “gig economy” as people are increasingly willing to pay to deliver services. Still, much of SF’s value is its unique neighborhood character, and businesses play a large role in shaping this.

Education Infrastructure

Assemblymember Ting is concerned about the disparity between the traditional college degree and transition jobs. We must ramp up education to meet our workforce needs so that workers have the skillsets necessary to transition out of minimum wage jobs and into the next economy. Apprenticeship programs are important, as is speeding up the course approval process; our system needs to be more flexible. The Governor’s online community colleges is one way to meet this need.


Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council Leads New Small Business Roundtable Coalition

Posted on May 14, 2018 by - News

Posted By Michael Guta On April 10, 2018 @ 1:45 pm In Economy

SOURCE: Small Business Trends

The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council announces formation of the Small Business Roundtable [1], a coalition of small business advocacy groups including National Association for the Self Employed, National Association of Women Business Owners and others.


Small Business Roundtable Coalition

The goal of this coalition is to benefit the 30 million businesses across the US by advancing policy, securing access, and promoting inclusion for their owners. In addition to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, the National Association for the Self Employed and the National Association of Women Business Owners, the coalition will include the National Small Business Association, the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., and the Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship.

One of the challenges individual small business owners face is not having the resources to affect policy changes. By bringing together millions of businesses into a coalition, the newly formed Small Business Roundtable will give small business owners the voice they need in local, state and national forums. This is one of the many benefits Rhett Buttle and John Stanford, founders and managers of Small Business Roundtable, addressed in a recent press release.

They said [2], “Washington responds most to organized interests, and today marks a step to better organize the small business community. One in ten Americans take the risk to launch a business, and when they succeed, our country succeeds. With the backing of our members we can make sure Congress and the Administration hear this message [3] loud and clear.”


The Need for the Small Business Roundtable

Simply put, the Small Business Roundtable was put together to put forward a unified voice on public policy regarding small business associations. With a singular resource, small business leaders will have access to the latest information so they can use it to increase their influence and better advance small business interests.

Small Business Roundtable Chair and President and CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, Karen Kerrigan explained exactly what the coalition will do. She said the Small Business Roundtable will advance economic agendas across the United States while pushing forward meaningful action on a small business policy agenda. According to Kerrigan, oftentimes small business owners have been taking, “… a back seat to rhetoric or narrow special interests.”

She adds, “SBR plans to transform that narrative. We aim to coalesce the membership, reputation and influence of the collective small business community around three core offerings: policy, access and inclusion.”

Hindus urge California state board to reject textbooks due to negative images

Posted on May 11, 2018 by - News

As the State Board of Education prepares to adopt recommendations for new history social science textbooks on Thursday, it is being flooded with written comments – including many expressing concerns about negative portrayals of Hindus.

A coalition led by the Hindu American Foundation and other community groups that includes elected officials, nearly 40 academics and about 74 interfaith organizations is urging the board to “only adopt textbooks that are culturally competent, historically accurate and equitable in their representations of Hinduism, Jainism and Indian culture,” said Samir Kalra, foundation senior director.

By Tuesday, more than a dozen people carrying signs that said, “Don’t erase history, don’t erase caste” were assembling outside the California Department of Education building in Sacramento, said Janet Weeks, board spokeswoman…



Lyft, Uber drivers won’t need fingerprint checks, California rules

Posted on May 11, 2018 by - News

State utility regulators voted Thursday to require annual background checks for drivers at Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing companies, but decided not to subject them to the fingerprinting required of taxi drivers.

California companies have a gold mine in Asia

Posted on May 11, 2018 by - News

SOURCE: The Sacramento Bee


October 18, 2017

A recent conference in Los Angeles asked the question: “Should California have its own trade policy?”

The question is not new, but enlightened elected leaders such as Gov. Jerry Brown who are partnering on agreements to reduce carbon emissions are paving the way. In 2015, he helped create the Under2Coalition that now includes 170 jurisdictions on six continents, 16 percent of the world’s population and 39 percent of its GDP.

Here’s the connection to trade: Businesses, including in California, are developing the new technology and innovations that will cut carbon. California will take a larger role, particularly in our area of interest – the Pacific Rim.

We believe this is a special moment for California businesses and our brand, seen especially by Asian consumers as one of quality, trust and open-mindedness. A rising Asian middle class is driving consumer trends and economic activity. California is well positioned socially, geographically and historically to benefit from the economic power shifting to the Asia-Pacific, whose share of global GDP is expected to rise to almost 70 percent by 2050.

The Sacramento-based California Asian-Pacific Chamber of Commerce is creating new trade connections by helping minority-owned and small businesses grow their networks overseas. Asian businesses have been studying the American marketplace for years. To increase their chances of success, California companies large and small must do the same and become better versed in the cultural and business practices of Pacific Rim economies.

With the Trump administration withdrawing from the 2015 Paris climate accord and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, overseas commerce developed by the Cal-Asian chamber in partnership with California businesses takes on an historic meaning. Trade has brought nations together, fostering peace and prosperity. We believe that it still true today.


Eugene Eng is chairman of the California Asian-Pacific Chamber of Commerce board and can be contacted at

Pat Fong-Kushida is president & CEO of the chamber and can be contacted at



Southwest Airlines® Adds Flights Throughout California and Expands International Options in Key Cities

Posted on May 11, 2018 by - News

Airline adds 19 new routes from California cities including international service for San Jose and Sacramento; Both Columbus and New Orleans also gain new international route

DALLAS—Aug. 28, 2017—

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) announced today a substantial investment for its California travelers and communities served as it extended its bookable flight schedule through June 1, 2018. Carrying more passengers to, from, and within the great state of California1 , Southwest is thanking its loyal Golden State Customers with even more flights including…