​Minnesota Hmong Chamber Of Commerce To Host Inaugural Small Business Expo On

By Poh Lin Khoo



The Minnesota Hmong Chamber of Commerce and its partners are hosting the inaugural Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Small Business Expo on Saturday, May 14th at Metropolitan State University, with Wells Fargo as the presenting sponsor. The event will feature a job fair, speakers, exhibitors, and business training workshops, as well as panel discussions with small business owners and community leaders. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic, civil unrest, and hate against Asian Americans have greatly impacted many

AAPI small businesses. We want to bring businesses, nonprofit organizations, state and government agencies, and the community together in solidarity to support one another, and also focus on economic development and growth,” said John Yang, Board Chair of the Minnesota Hmong Chamber of Commerce and CEO of the small business Vizion SEO.

Ange Hwang, Executive Director of Asian Media Access and Project Manager for the Asian American Business Resilience Network, emphasized the circumstances faced by Minnesota businesses and Asian Americans in recent years, and what makes this event important: “It’s a unique opportunity to showcase Asian American and Pacific Islander small businesses. Our members have suffered a triple crisis – the pandemic, civil unrest, and anti-Asian hate crimes. Finally, a stage designed just for them to shine.”

Workshops will focus on key skills needed for businesses to succeed, including how to start a business, marketing, government contracting and certification, and much more. Participants will also have the opportunity to take part in discussions and network with others in the community. 

“Asian American and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander communities have been victims not only of a financial crisis but also a public health crisis during the pandemic,” said Geri Sanchez Aglipay, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Great Lakes Regional Administrator. “As Regional Administrator, I’m proud to support this inaugural expo on behalf of SBA. This expo helps to advance inclusion and public awareness about the diversity across Asian American and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander communities and most especially how AAPINHPI small businesses help to advance inclusive recovery in their local communities to build wealth and strengthen economic prosperity for all by creating jobs and building wealth.”

“We are excited to be part of the inaugural AAPI Small Business Expo,” said SBA’s Minnesota District Director, Brian McDonald. “We value the contributions of the Asian community to our economy and look forward to continuing to support this growing community of entrepreneurs.”

The event is Saturday, May 14th from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at Metropolitan State University, 700 East 7th Street, Saint Paul, MN. For more information, visit the official event website: https://aapibusinessexpo.com/

About the Minnesota Hmong Chamber of Commerce

The Minnesota Hmong Chamber of Commerce strives to help businesses grow and sustain through engagement, collaboration, and advocacy, and has been empowering Minnesota businesses and the community since 1998. Learn more at https://mnhmongchamber.org/.

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