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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

June 8, 2006

Written by C.N.

Asian Small Businesses Flourishing

Two articles, one from the Washington Post and the other from the San Francisco Chronicle, describe how Asian American-owned small businesses in each respective metropolitan area have flourished in recent years:

The number of Asian-owned businesses surged in the Washington area from 1997 to 2002, as a diverse mix of entrepreneurs with broad global ties flocked to the region’s technology and government contracting sectors in suburban commercial centers outside the District, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released yesterday.

The number of firms owned by ethnic Asians locally rose 30 percent, to 40,152, during the five years studied, double the national rate of growth for all businesses and more than the 24 percent growth in Asian-owned firms nationwide. Though the number of Asian-owned firms in the District fell slightly, growth in the outer suburbs was explosive. . . .

San Francisco’s 19,639 Asian-owned firms generated $5.4 billion in 2002. Only New York, Los Angeles and Honolulu had more Asian-owned enterprises, and San Jose rounded out the top five cities with 16,233 Asian-owned businesses. California had 371,425 in all with revenues of $125.6 billion.

As I’ve written before, Asian Americans as a group are overrepresented as small business owners, although there is a lot of variation among different Asian ethnic groups. As the Census Bureau notes, “The robust revenues of Asian-owned firms and the growth in the number of businesses provide yet another indicator that minority entrepreneurs are at the forefront as engines for growth in our economy.”

The other interesting feature to note in this context is how many Asian American businesses are increasingly leveraging their transnational ties and connections to Asia as a common method of expanding their businesses. I’ve also written about previous examples regarding Vietnamese and Koreans.

In other words, Asian Americans (in this case, business owners) are once again showing that, in the context of today’s globalized and transnational society, there does not need to be a contradiction between being both Asian and American.

Author Citation

Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Asian Small Businesses Flourishing" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <> ().

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