The California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce’s (CalAsian Chamber) is committed to help grow and empower the Asian Pacific Islander (API) business community throughout California. Today, there are 600,000 API owned business representing 16% of all California businesses. API-owned businesses generate over $200 billion in revenues and employ over 1 million Californians. API owned-businesses are crucial economic drivers for jobs and California’s economy.

As we work with leaders and policy makers, we want to ensure there is a clear understanding of the commitment of the CalAsian Chamber to ensure API businesses are equipped with the tools necessary to be successful equipped and are able to connect with all opportunities available to help them thrive.

The CalAsian Chamber is strategically aligned with numerous partners throughout the state representing the diverse API community with Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with over 45 organizations and entities working in the API community. Together we will work to help promote policies that will ensure the growth of California’s economy and the API and Small business communities.

For the 2017 Legislative Session, the CalAsian Chamber has identified four (4) key policy areas that impact California’s API and Small businesses.

  • Energy
  • Procurement & Contracting
  • Technology & Communications
  • International Trade

Fuel, electricity and natural gas rates in California are higher than the national averages and are continuing to rise. It is important to ensure that we have the energy supply needed to keep our state running, and at the same time we are keeping costs under control and our economy growing.

There are many state energy mandates being imposed by different state agencies. These mandates promote renewable energy production, energy efficiency, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, retrofits to power plants, among many other ambitious goals.

California needs a statewide energy plan that considers both costs and reliability. To do so we need to:

  • Prioritize the creation of an affordable and reliable state energy supply to protect consumers and support jobs and the economy;
  • Advocate for state policies that promote compliance flexibility, which are technology neutral, and that recognize regional differences to minimize energy cost increases and reliability impacts;
  • Provide a rigorous and transparent assessment of the costs, risks and trade-offs of current state policies that could impede the efficient, affordable, and reliable delivery of energy;
  • Identify limits on the costs that should be borne by energy consumers and businesses to achieve important societal goals or mandates;
  • Conduct a rigorous analysis to identify and prevent duplication or inconsistencies between existing and new state policies to avoid energy cost increases and reliability risks;
  • Adopt realistic paths and timelines for regulatory compliance to achieve energy-related state goals to minimize stranded assets and maximize regulatory certainty;
  • Strengthen oversight and regularly adjust state policies to avoid energy cost overruns or reliability impacts, and;
  • Develop additional programs to encourage robust public participation, education, and support regarding the costs and benefits of energy and environmental policies.

Policy Position
The CalAsian Chamber of Commerce will advocate for legislation that ensures affordability, reliability and adequate energy supplies in order to maintain a competitive business climate.

The State of California spends billions each year on goods, information technology, services, construction, and public works contracts, it is estimated that California’s annual purchases total over $10 billion.

California small businesses comprise nearly 98 percent of all businesses in the state, employing more than 50 percent of California’s workforce and generating more than half of the state’s gross domestic product.   Small businesses are the principal source of new jobs in California’s economy and are instrumental to the health of California’s economy.

California should lead the nation in creating an optimum environment which affords all business equal access to state agency contracting opportunities, thereby enhancing and encouraging competition and preserving the free enterprise system.  Enhancing opportunities for small business to participate in the state contracting process is “good business” for California.

Increased small business participation in state contracting should be a priority for the Governor’s Administration.

Policy Position
Doing business with the government can be a complex and daunting task. Government contracting provides opportunities for our API-owned and small businesses to expand into new markets.  CalAsian Chamber supports policies that encourage small business participation and competition for government contracts, and programs that provide technical assistance for small business to compete for state contracts and opportunities.


California is the nation’s technology leader in job creation and innovation.  Home to more than 1.1 million employees in the technology sector alone, California continues to benefit from private sector investment and economic growth year after year.

With Californians continuing to embrace cutting-edge technologies, including the Internet of things (IoT), wearables, sharing-economy platforms, and mobile apps, it’s clear that the state’s economic growth and technology adoption go hand in hand. As the internet continues to become a part of everyday life for Californians and state industries, promoting broadband and wireless accessibility everywhere has been an essential component to maintaining the state’s role as a global leader in innovation, technology, and communications.

Policy Position
CalAsian Chamber advocates for information technology and telecommunication technology policies that advance free and open competition, promote a highly educated and technical workforce, encourage collaboration and cooperation in ideas and technology, and advance regulations that positively impact the ability of the private sector to effectively research, develop, integrate, manufacture, service and market solutions in the global marketplace.


California is one of the 10 largest economies in the world with a gross state product (GSP) of more than $2 trillion. International-related commerce (including exports and imports of goods and services, plus investments) accounts for approximately one-quarter of the state’s economy. Although trade is a nationally determined policy issue, its impact on California is immense. California exports to 229 foreign markets.

  • 96 percent of all California exports come from small and medium sized businesses.
  • In 2015, international trade supported more than 775,000 high paying California jobs. These trade-related jobs came from large and small companies, farmers, and factories.
  • California exports billions of dollars in goods and services annually, including computers and electronics, transportation equipment, agricultural products, software and machinery.
  • Exports support small, medium, and large businesses. The vast majority of California exporters are small and medium-sized companies with less than 500 workers.
  • Imports lower prices and increases choices for California companies and families.
  • Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) have led to rapid export growth to partner countries. America’s FTA partners purchased 41% – more than $67 Billion – of California’s total exported goods in 2015.
  • Foreign owned companies invest in California and employ more than 631,000 Californians.

Policy Position
The CalAsian Chamber supports expansion of international trade and investment, fair and equitable market access for California products particularly with Pacific Rim countries, and elimination of disincentives that impede the international competitiveness of California business.



The CalAsian Chamber supports policies and legislation that will help California’s API and small businesses reach new markets and provide growth opportunities. This would include legislation that streamlines procurement and certification processes within public entities, provides resources and technical assistance programs for small business, and supports international trade competitiveness.

  • Access to Capital.  The CalAsian Chamber supports innovative financing programs that will help create better opportunities for access to capital for small businesses.
  • Procurement/Contracting.  CalAsian Chamber will support policies that encourage small business participation and competition for government contracts. Doing business with the government can be a complex and daunting task. Government contracting provides opportunities for our API- owned businesses to expand into new markets.
  • Small Business Development.  CalAsian supports programs that provide `technical assistance and resources to the small business community.

Workforce Training and Development
A skilled and educated workforce is integral to the success of California’s API-owned businesses and to advance the state’s economic growth and global competitiveness. CalAsian Chamber understands that to meet the economic challenges and opportunities our business owners require a well-educated and skilled workforce that can compete on a global scale.

California needs a workforce that is competent, competitive, creative and prepared, which reflects the state’s great diversity. Investment in public education is paramount. Student achievement is the single best public policy predictor of a thriving state economy.

The CalAsian Chamber believes it is important for small businesses to have choices in finding healthcare coverage for their business and employees. The CalAsian Chamber will make it a priority to remove additional regulations and barriers for affordable and accessible healthcare for small business.

The CalAsian Chamber’s priority is to support proposals and actions aimed at regulatory fairness, reform and relief for all business. CalAsian Chamber supports policies that provide for opportunities for new technologies and innovation that help prepare our businesses for the new economy. 
One of the most considerable challenges facing small businesses in California today is the regulatory burdens placed upon them by government. Regulations come from the federal, state and local levels and many overlap and require repetitive work for a small business owner.

Unlike large corporations, small business owners generally do not have the professional staff to help with the numerous regulatory mandates required. California’s economy depends on the growth of small businesses. Small businesses are not big businesses…only smaller. Small businesses are different and need access to new ways to approach and grow. 
In this tough economic climate, small businesses are finding it difficult to be competitive.

It is often a challenge just to keep their doors open for business.  CalAsian Chamber’s goal is to assist small business to be successful, which includes supporting proposals that will help streamline and relieve additional regulatory burdens for API and small business owners.

Regulations are necessary; however, they need to be fair, efficient, predictable and accountable, with common sense rules that are fairly applied.

The CalAsian Chamber supports sound policies that guard against unnecessary taxation burdens to all business but rather encourage economic growth.

The cost of government in California, the level of taxation, and the operation of the tax system are highly quantifiable measures that affect the family budgets of all residents. A healthy economy provides the most robust and stable revenue for important government programs.

Often tax proposals rest heavily on the business community. Employers evaluate these factors thoroughly before deciding whether to locate or expand in California. High tax rates are a problem for small businesses because they siphon off the after-tax income that owners need to invest back in their business to assure viability and growth and help them create more jobs.

Good tax policy improves the economy and provides equity among taxpayers. Tax incentives should help create a better climate for small business, innovators and job seekers.

CalAsian’s priority is to support tax policies that encourage and assist small, medium or large businesses to grow and stay in business and in California.

Economic Development as practiced by the CalAsian Chamber seeks to catalyze investment in California’s API communities. We do this in conjunction with our private, public, educational, trade unions, and other non-profit partners through a systematic and pro-active approach, which promotes opportunity for business growth and development, job creation, increase in economic activity, promotion of a healthier sense of community and improve our quality of life.

CalAsian Chamber advocates for policies that support the development of programs that foster the growth, retention and attraction of businesses throughout the State. CalAsian Chamber also supports a redirection of the revenue generated from these economic development initiatives, to community development within underserved communities.


Staff Contact:

Julian Canete

Director of Public Policy



CalAsian Chamber of Commerce

2331 Alhambra Blvd., Suite 100

Sacramento, CA  95817

(916) 446-7883


March 2017