FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 22, 2021
Contact: Pat Fong Kushida, CEO
Tel. (916) 870-6606 cell
SACRAMENTO, CALIF., July 22, 2021 – The California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce Foundation (CalAsian) received a $500,000 grant from the Citi Foundation as part of an effort to support nonprofit organizations that provide technical assistance to minority-owned businesses.
This grant is one of 50 given to community organizations across the U.S. as unrestricted grant funding to help rebuild businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Minority business enterprises (MBEs) have been disproportionally impacted by the pandemic, while already enduring cultural and language barriers, difficulty accessing capital, and historic barriers in government and commercial systems.
For CalAsian, the Citi Foundation grant will facilitate additional resources to reach more minority small businesses in low-to-moderate income communities, with a concentration on the Sacramento/Central Valley area. CalAsian is focused on California’s return to economic prosperity, much of which lies within successful small business recovery and the creation of new jobs.
“Supporting the advancement of minority-owned small businesses has been a fundamental intention of CalAsian since its inception,” said Pat Fong Kushida, President and CEO of CalAsian. “California’s high concentration of MBEs combined with obstacles to economic growth that were exacerbated by the pandemic, require a culturally competent organization that maintains technical skills and access to commercial and public supply chains that will connect, grow and scale MBEs across California.”
CalAsian’s current and past impact through small business programs has been significant. Through CalAsian’s CARES Act Business Center, 2,500 MBEs received technical assistance for financial programs, resulting in $4.6 million in access to capital and loan forgiveness. Additionally, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Export Center operated under CalAsian saw more than $38 million in export and financial transactions from minority-owned firms in the last contract period to date. Through the State of California’s Small Business Technical Assistance Expansion Program (TAEP) program, CalAsian served 1,746 MBEs, resulting in $2.4 million in capital and 57 jobs created and retained to date.
“Organizations like CalAsian are economic recovery catalysts working to accelerate the growth of small businesses and job creation in their communities,” said Brandee McHale, Head of Citi Community Investing and Development and President of the Citi Foundation. “The Citi Foundation is proud to be providing change agents like them the unrestricted, flexible support they need to reach more minority-owned businesses and scale tailored solutions for the communities they serve.”
The coronavirus pandemic triggered permanent changes in business practices, and CalAsian is determined to ensure that business communities – especially minority small business communities – have access to all available services and programs that can expedite recovery and continued prosperity.
The mission of the CalAsian Chamber Foundation is to strengthen underserved, diverse communities through inclusive economic development programs. Programs focus on four key areas: leadership, workforce development and technical assistance for small businesses. CalAsian offers technical assistance programs designed to strengthen and expand the potential of ethnically diverse small businesses and help low to moderate income communities achieve sustainable economic development.
Visit www.calasiancc.org to learn more.