AAPI small businesses to receive a $2 million dollar boost to recover from pandemic losses

Cash payments begin at $10,000.
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 6:01 AM AKDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - As Democrats work to revive a slimmed-downed version of the Build Back Better Act, some small business owners are turning to other sources of financial help to lessen the impacts of the pandemic.

Chiling Tong, CEO & President of the Asian and Pacific Islander Chamber of Commerce in Washington, says AAPI business owners across America were heavily impacted by Covid’s economic downturn. Tong explained the biggest hurdles owners are facing.

“Covid and anti-AAPI hate,” said Tong. “Both hit the AAPI business community very, very hard.”

A report from Stop AAPI Hate found there were nearly 11,500 hate incidents reported between March 19, 2020 and March 31, 2022. As the pandemic unfolded, a UCLA report found 233,000 AAPI small businesses closed from February to April in 2020.

“We’ve made a $2 million pool available in grants in amounts from $10,000 to $50,000,” said Tammy Halevy, the Executive Director of Reimagine Main Street. To help counter the financial effects of the pandemic, Halevy says AAPI small business owners are getting a boost.

It’s through the AAPISTRONG: Small Business Grants, in partnership with multiple organizations and with support from Meta, known to most as Facebook.

Forty AAPI businesses who launched during the pandemic will receive $10,000 cash grants. Sixty AAPI businesses who launched prior to the pandemic and survived will receive $25,000 cash grants. “That’s a one cash payment, and applications for the AAPI Strong Program are open until July,” said Tong.

AAPI small business owners can apply on the National Asian and Pacific Islander Chamber of Commerce website. The deadline is July 26th.

Earlier this year, a survey from Small Business for America’s Future found more than 1,700 small business owners across the nation believed childcare and prescription drug policies in the Build Back Better Act would help ease their financial burdens.

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