2002 SBO Asian-Owned Businesses News Conference
May 16, 2006
Remarks of Anthony Yu
Board member, U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce
Hi everyone, I am Anthony Yu. First of all, I want to say thank you for inviting USPAACC to this conference. Our national president, Susan Allen is in Chicago hosting our 2006 conference and I have the honor of taking over her place here today. USPAACC is a nonprofit trade association providing assistance and resources to small and medium size Asian American businesses.
I want to acknowledge Ron Langston of Census Bureau, Chiling Tong of MBDA and members of the media.
As an Asian American business owner myself, I am proud of the achievement and success of many Asian American businesses in the United States. The report today from the Census Bureau tells it all. Asian American businesses are the fastest growing business group in the US. It is almost twice the national average. The Asian population is now reaching over 14 million strong and is reflecting in the diversity of the businesses mentioned in this report.
Among the five major racial/ethnic groups in the U.S., Asian Americans have the most College and Advanced degrees. Asian Americans also have the second highest median personal income and we have the largest % of work force in place relative to our population. If you walk around any Chinatown, Korea town, Little Tokyo or Little Saigon, you'll see hundreds of small shops and businesses, selling everything and services from traditional native foods to flowers, medicines and hair salons.
There are many reasons why Asian Americans businesses are growing so fast. One of the reasons is most immigrants are not very fluent in English. Many of them have high educational and occupational credentials before coming to the US, but they are not able to get a decent job. They are also likely to have family support with small amount of funding and manpower to help start their family businesses. The high growth of the Asian population provides them a steady and a large customer base. As reported, increasingly, many Asian American entrepreneurs are going into high-tech businesses and many second generation Asian American are entering into professional businesses like lawyers, doctors, financial planners and mortgage bankers. The ever increasing trades between the United States and China and other Asian countries also provide Asian Americans with many business opportunities.
With all that said and with due respect to the Census report. These are all just statistics. For many years, Asian Americans have been labeled the “model minority”. We have overcome past discriminations and prejudice. Many people go even further to argue that Asian Americans businesses are doing so well that we no longer need government supports. I want to let you know that this "model minority" image is totally a myth. Many Asian American mom and pop business owners are still struggling, working long hours with minimal incomes.
At USPAACC, we believe Asian American businesses still have a long way to go. The report mentioned that almost two-thirds of Asian American businesses are located in just five states: California, New York, Texas, New Jersey and Hawaii. Even as Asian American businesses are growing twice the national average as said in the report; our average revenue is still lower than the national average of all business. In terms of government and corporate contracting opportunities, Asian American businesses are still far behind other ethnic groups. Nonetheless, as Asian Americans, we are proud to be one of the engines pushing the growing US economy. Thank you for inviting me.