The Minority Report — Why We Should Support Asian-owned Business in the U.S.
“I get the worst compliments all the time. ‘Oh! You’re Asian? I love orange chicken.” — Jokoy
Only three years ago, when the movie Crazy Rich Asians came out and became the highest-grossing romantic comedy of the last 10 years, and the 6th-highest-grossing ever, we thought that the Asian American community has finally been acknowledged, not only in Hollywood but society in general.
At the time it felt like a turning point where the doors have finally opened to equal opportunities for Asian Americans spurring a more Asian-inclusive American culture.
However, the pandemic has exposed a huge gap between perception and reality. COVID and a former White House resident who calls the outbreak the “China virus” or “Kung Flu” has not only exposed but also exacerbated anti-Asian xenophobia and racism.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, organizations have documented nearly 3,800 hate incidents across 46 states, one-third of Americans reported witnessing other individuals blame Asian Americans for the pandemic, and the recent shooting rampage at Atlanta spas among the other incidents of anti-Asian violence and assaults on the rise.
The Asian American business community has been particularly disrupted by a double hit of xenophobia and lockdowns. Asian American–owned businesses were some of the earliest to experience declines in business. A full month before nationwide lockdowns began, misguided fears of the virus effectively shuttered businesses in many Asian American cultural districts — despite few confirmed COVID-19 cases in those areas.
Asian-owned businesses make up 26 percent of accommodations and food service, 17 percent of retail trade, and 11 percent of education-services businesses — sectors that have sustained some of the worst economic effects from COVID-19.
The economic contribution of Asian American businesses, however, can’t be overlooked.
Asian Americans owned more than 10% of all U.S. businesses.
The nearly 2 million Asian American-owned businesses generate $863B in annual GDP.
Asian American-owned businesses employ around 5.1 million people.
And, they are projected to become the largest immigrant group (38%) in the United States by 2055
As the country look towards recovery, the Asian American community will be critical to economic recovery and employment growth. In particular, the Asian American business community outperforms the national average on business ownership and employment.
Asian American-owned businesses grew by 23.8% between 2007 to 2012 — during and after the recession. In contrast, the total number of all U.S. firms increased only by 2%
There’s 1 Asian-owned business for every 6 Asian adults compared with the US average of 1 for every 8.4 adults.
25% of Asian owned business employ more than 1 person compared with 13% of all US businesses.
However, because of the lockdown, xenophobia, and the fact that their businesses are heavily represented in some of the hardest hit sectors, recovery for Asian American owned businesses may be long drawn out.
Now is the best time to show our support to our Asian American businesses — shop from their online or in-store business, get food delivered, use their services, read books, blogs, publications from Asian authors, watch Asian produced and starred films and TV shows, etc. Also give them a shout out on your social media, a nice review on online review sites, and refer them business.
Let’s help stop Asian hate and together as a diverse community get on our way to business and economic recovery for our country as a whole.
“Helping others is the way we help ourselves.” — Oprah Winfrey
For help with your Asian American-owned, minority-owned, women-owned, black-owned, and LGBTQ-owned business, email us or visit our website. And for more marketing tips, check out my other blogs on Medium.