CONTACT: Howard Shih
2123445878, Ext:219

New Report on Asian Small Businesses in New York City

New York City:  The Asian American Federation released our latest report, NYC’s Economic Engine: Contributions and Challenges of Asian Small Businesses, at a half-day conference yesterday.  The keynote speaker was New York’s Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who affirmed the importance of Asian-owned small businesses to New York’s economic vitality.  We were also joined by speakers Bomi Kim of New York City Economic Development Corporation and Che Lai Chang of East West Bank, who discussed the ways in which the government and private sectors were supporting small businesses.  We also heard from small business owners Victor Chan of Sushi-teria, Ikhwan Rim of Rim’s Jewelry, and Tariq Islam of AI Engineers, Inc. about the challenges they face as business owners.

In NYC’s Economic Engine, we highlight the economic contributions of Asian-owned businesses as well as the specific challenges that Asian owners face in growing and sustaining their businesses.  To illustrate, Asian businesses accounted for half of net new economic activity and half of net new paid employment in New York City from 2002-2012.  At the same time, self-employed Asians had 10-percent lower median wages and earnings compared to their non-Asian counterparts.

Key findings of this report include:

We make the following recommendations to the City to better support Asian-owned small businesses:

Jo-Ann Yoo, executive director of the Federation, said, “Asian small businesses have increasingly become a vital economic force in New York City, and this report finally provides the numbers to prove that our city depends on Asian entrepreneurs to sustain its economic activity and employment rate. For that reason, we owe it to our small business owners to provide them with the necessary access to in-language information and training that will help them succeed and thrive in this city.”

“Asian-owned small businesses were borne out of necessity,” said Howard Shih, research and policy director of the Federation.  “Yet, despite being shut out of mainstream jobs due to limited English proficiency and/or citizenship status, Asian New Yorkers have found a way to shape the very fabric of this city’s economy. With real investment in their education and training, we are certain to see a great return on our investment in the long term.”

We thank East West Bank for their generous support of our report and conference as well as Empire BlueCross BlueShield and AARP for their co-sponsorship of our conference.

The FULL report is available here.