Letter from the President & CEO
Dear Valued Members,
I like to be optimistic. It’s time to look forward because we’ve got a lot of work to do. It’s clear that any prior plans that met our purpose have changed as a result of the impact of COVID and Anti-Asian Hate on our AAPI Small Business Community. But now, the world is open – the doors are open – businesses are open – and all the opportunities to stay open are out there!
Our current 5-year strategy as we go forward focuses on the fundamental needs of our AAPI Small Business Community and reinforcing alliances with our Corporate Members, Sponsors and Partners.
First on the list of our primary objectives is to establish a database of Colorado AAPI Small Businesses. Not just metro wide but statewide too. We learned that equitable outreach of recovery opportunities can’t be fully successful if we have an inadequate database. So, the ACC, in partnership with community entities such as
- Asian Avenue Magazine
- the Denver Asian American Pacific Islander Commission
- Denver Public Library
- OEDIT Minority Business Office,
- Colorado Media Project & CoLab
- Good Business Colorado
will build a comprehensive database that will improve outreach and accessibility of the AAPI businesses statewide.
The ACC is also pursuing the means to increase our capacity so that we are able to provide more technical services and 1-on-1 mentoring to AAPI Small Business owners. The ACC is grateful to be a co-recipient, with the Asian Pacific Development Center, of a program grant from the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development in partnership with Kaiser Permanente. We’ve also received funding from the National Asian Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship.
Since March (when we received the funding), the ACC has provided:
- over 200 hours of business counseling, which includes assistance in:
- applying for grants
- applying for loans
- making connections with State, City and NPO funders
- teaching fundamental business practices to new immigrant entrepreneurs
- finding commercial space to lease
- making connections for certifications etc.
- we’ve worked 1x1 with over 30 AAPI small businesses
- we made connections with AAPI pop-ups and start up businesses
- and we supported AAPI Community events – which is the best way to market our efforts.
Small steps – but as our capacity increases so will our outreach.
Other initiatives that the ACC will continue to pursue include our D&I Presentations and our outreach to Southern Colorado AAPI Small Businesses.
An exciting project in 2023 - the ACC is supporting the Aurora Mayor Trade Mission to Taiwan – which gives us the opportunity to work with the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in Denver and the Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce.
And our Business After Hours will continue with fun and exciting venues in our “ACC Cultural Experience Series”.
The ACC is about making the connections you need – in your career, in your company, and in your community. I’m looking forward to looking forward with you – it’s the only direction we can go!!