Topic: Uncategorized

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!

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:







January is the last chance for Congress to protect Dreamers

Posted on May 17, 2018 by - Uncategorized

By Pat Fong Kushida
We are closer than ever to passing legislation to permanently protect the workers and students enrolled in DACA. But January is the last chance for Congress to take action before tens of thousands of Dreamers lose their ability to live in the United States and continue working. This is why I urge California’s representatives in Congress to work to pass legislation this month before it is too late.

The repeal of DACA has created an urgent crisis, not only for the 230,000 Dreamers in California but also for our economy, including California’s more than 600,000 Asian Pacific Islander (API)-owned businesses that know Dreamers as employees, customers, and community members. Removing these individuals from their homes and the only country they know would be an inexcusable moral failure. This move would impact far more than California’s Dreamers – immigration policy affects all of us, and the subsequent hit to the economy would hurt U.S.-born employers and workers too.

Roughly 90 percent of Dreamers are currently employed and six percent have launched their own businesses. Removing these workers – and, in some cases, the U.S.-born workers they employ – from our economy would cost an estimated $460 billion GDP loss over the next decade. Employers would be hit with $3.4 billion in unnecessary turnover costs and contributions to Medicare and Social Security would fall by roughly $25 billion.

Businesses and communities are already feeling the effect. Since the repeal of DACA in September, almost 14,000 Dreamers have already lost their work permits. Until Congress passes a permanent legislative solution, 122 more will continue to fall out of status every single day. Even worse, the number of people impacted will go up dramatically after March 5th, which is Congress’ deadline to act.

But waiting until March 5th is not a viable option. After Congress passes a legislative solution, it will take months for the Department of Homeland Security to establish and implement a system for Dreamers to apply for residency and work permits, and to adjudicate those applications. For context, when DACA was established in 2012, it took almost three months before the first applications were approved. Even if it only takes half of that time for U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services to establish this process, Congress would need to pass a bill by January 19th to provide enough time for agencies to process applications before thousands of DACA recipients are cut out of the economy and workers stop showing up for work.

Also before Congress this month is a year-long spending bill, which includes funds for Homeland Security and ICE. A vote for this spending bill without protections for Dreamers is a vote to fund the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Dreamers who fall out of status in the year ahead. So the timing could not be more urgent. Any Member of Congress who claims to stand with Dreamers cannot vote for a spending bill that will fund their detention and deportation, unless they have helped to pass a permanent legislative solution first.

For years, Congress has said they stand with Dreamers, but time and again, legislation to protect them has fallen short of the finish line. California’s businesses are saying enough is enough. Act now to protect our Dreamers before it is too late.

Pat Fong Kushida is president and CEO of the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce.


EDGE Workshops Recap

Posted on August 9, 2017 by - News, Uncategorized

On Tuesday, July 25, 2017, The California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce (CalAsian Chamber) hosted three EDGE Workshops in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. The Southwest Region Small Business Resource Center (SBTRC) completed extensive outreach to all small businesses and disadvantaged small business within the Los Angeles area. The workshops focused on giving our small businesses interactive presentations on understanding contracts, the negotiation process, managing their contracts once awarded and preparing to go after government and utilities contracts.

A testimony from a participant of the workshop, “I was not expecting this workshop was going to be active like this, and I was impressed how fun it was.” – Anonymous 

The presenters provided by Southern California Edison shared engaging presentations on why it is important for small business owners to understand their contracts. Attendees were engaged on how contracts are formed, what makes contracts invalid, understanding project management and contracting with governmental agencies.  The presenters included Eldonna Lewis Fernandez (CEO of Dynamic Vision International Inc.), Rene Cota (President of CMG Alliance) and Don Martinez (President of Domar Companies).

The workshops consisted of three separate presentations; “Contracts 101,” “How to Prepare for Post Award Management and Contract Negotiations,” and “How to Prepare for Utilities and Government Contracts.”

How Congress could give small businesses a bigger incentive to invest in growth

Posted on December 1, 2015 by - Uncategorized

Under current law, small businesses can expense only $25,000 in capital expenditures this year, a level far below the $500,000 Section 179 expensing limit that went into effect in 2003.

Congress is likely to remedy that problem in December, just like it did last year, when it retroactively raised the Section 179 expensing limit for 2014 to $500,000 on Dec. 19.

That left small businesses 12 days to buy eligible equipment and put it into service in order to take advantage of this tax break. This short window sharply reduced the impact of this tax incentive for small businesses to invest in growth.

Some equipment can take weeks or even months to order, and as a result, many small businesses forfeited the benefit. Many no doubt canceled their plans in the hope that 2015 would be different.

Business groups want Congress to end the guessing game on whether tax incentives such as Section 179 expensing and the research and development tax credit will be available in a given year by making these tax breaks permanent.

The temporary nature of these tax breaks is an example of the Washington-created uncertainty that hangs over small business like a dense fog.

Making the $500,000 Section 179 expensing limit permanent, by contrast, would lead small businesses to add as many as 197,000 jobs over the next decade.

Letter to Congress from the President/CEO: Trans-Pacific Partnership

Posted on April 24, 2015 by - Uncategorized

Members of Congress:

In a few short weeks, I will be co-leading a delegation to Japan and Korea to advance trade and business-to-business ties between the U.S. and other Asia nations.  Of the more than 600,000 small businesses owned and operated by Asians, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders,  more than 400,000 are based in California.  These small business enterprises are part of a growing number of small businesses being established by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) and other minority groups throughout the country.  And, it is critical to note that these small businesses are creating new jobs not only for other immigrant communities, but for all Americans.

Our visit to Japan will focus, in part, on promoting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an international trade agreement that will include the United States and 11 other countries.  TPP will serve as a framework that will allow U.S.-based small businesses to export manufactured goods, professional services and other products to participating countries.  It has been our experience that consumers and businesses abroad want more access to American-made products, and small-business owners and entrepreneurs are eager to play a greater role in exporting to new markets.

It goes without saying that the U.S. is considered the land of innovation, where people of all backgrounds can pursue opportunities to build lives for themselves and their families.  Many AAPIs start businesses as a way to support themselves and their families, fueling new jobs and opportunities in communities and neighborhoods where no other businesses will venture.  However, if we are to keep businesses in communities where there is a strong need for sustainable jobs, we must have access to markets other than the U.S.  Our growth depends on Asia, Latin America and other regions of the world.  And nothing will stimulate our economy more than being able to sell more goods and services that are made right here in America.

As the president and chief executive officer of the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce and a long-standing member of the greater AAPI community, I believe very strongly in the importance of providing more opportunities for the small-business sector to sell their goods and services to countries such as Japan, Korea, Vietnam and elsewhere.  Currently, a full 98 percent of all exports are from small businesses, yet only one or two percent of the more than 28 million small businesses export (or have the ability to export) now.  We strongly want to see more agreements such as TPP enacted to open up new markets for businesses of all sizes to export more American-made products.  As these opportunities become available, we also believe this will create a wide array of new jobs, including skilled and unskilled positions.  And, we believe trade will encourage participating countries to do more to train and retrain their employees to succeed in an world that seeks greater trade opportunities for growth, innovation, creativity, cultural exchanges, and business development.

On Tuesday, April 28, President Barack Obama and members of Congress will have an opportunity to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during an official state visit.  We strongly encourage all members of Congress to support TPP and greater Japanese participation in this trade agreement.  Opening new markets in Japan and other countries not only benefits our country, but also opens the door to even larger possibilities both here and abroad.

On behalf of everyone at the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce and our partners, thank you for your anticipated support for TPP.


President and Chief Executive Officer
California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce