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National Survey Shows More Businesses Face Closures and Employee Layoffs

AAPI business owners and their employees need immediate and long-term help from the Biden Administration and State Governments

The National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (National ACE) and Re- imagine Main Street, an initiative of Pub- lic Private Strategies (PPS), released new survey data on the experience of AAPI business owners during the Covid-19 pandemic. Among its key findings, 84% of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) businesses have been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and 44% have decreased the number of people they employ. This survey reflects the immense challenges that AAPI businesses face in recovering from a once in a lifetime pandemic.

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06) and Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) joined the briefing to provide comments on the importance of AAPI business owners to the country’s economic recovery.

“For small businesses to make it to the other side of this pandemic, Congress needs to ensure there is a robust, long- term response to the Covid-19 crisis,” said Chiling Tong, President and CEO of Na- tional ACE. “In addition to our findings, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that Asian American women who are job- less have been hit harder than any other group, with 44% having been out of work six months or more. This dilemma cannot be solved with a short-term perspective. In fact, we need Congress and States to commit to ensuring that small business- es survive and thrive in the months and years ahead.”

The survey, conducted online from Sept. 28 to Nov. 30, collected data on nearly 900 AAPI business owners – and also Black and Hispanic business owners. The survey resulted in 8,328 respondents, making it the largest survey of AAPI, Black, and Hispanic business owners fielded on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

An overwhelming majority of surveyed AAPIs said that their businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic to date, causing lower revenues and job cuts. Many AAPI business owners have stated that their situation will worsen without financial assistance. Among the findings: “Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) owned businesses have suffered greatly from this crisis, particularly AAPI women. Congress must ensure that this important community receives the assistance it needs to survive and come out of the other side of the pandemic stronger” said Jimmy Ferguson, Chair of the Asian McDonald’s Operators Association and current Policy Committee Chairman for National ACE. “It is wrongly assumed that AAPI’s are struggling less through the pandemic, which is simply not true.”

“I applaud National ACE for their work on a national survey to underscore the challenges AAPI small business owners face,” said Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06). “The survey data paints a bleak picture and underscores why additional support will be needed. These business- es were hit doubly because of the pandemic’s economic impact and the vicious anti-Asian hate and discrimination. Even before the first cases hit my home state of New York, our AAPI small business- es were victims of racism; they were the canary in the coal mine as the pandemic ravaged communities across the nation. Small businesses are the lifeblood of a community, and they need all the help during the Covid-19 relief and recovery. I will continue to fight for relief for AAPI small business owners.”

“Every small business owner should know that Congress has their back as we work to recover from the pandemic. That should be especially true of our AAPI brothers and sisters, and other communities of color, who have been disproportionately hard hit by this crisis and often lack ready access to the resources necessary to rebuild. This survey shows us the depth of the crisis; it’s now up to us in Congress to act with the level of urgency and scale needed,” said Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03).

National ACE’s mission is to serve as a strong advocate of AAPI business interests and effect positive change on all issues that enhance and advance the goals and aspirations of AAPI business owners, entrepreneurs, and corporate leaders. National ACE strives to do this through supporting and promoting issues that impact the AAPI business community, improving the economic development and economic impact of the AAPI community, advancing coalitions and enhancing community building, and fostering the next generation of AAPI entrepreneurs and executives. National ACE provides a unified voice for the business interests of AAPIs nation- ally. Learn more at:

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