Small Business Majority Condemns Hatred Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Statement from Small Business Majority Founder & CEO John Arensmeyer on the growing violence and racism directed at the AAPI community
As advocates for the small business community that are focused on building an inclusive and diverse economy, we condemn the hatred that has spawned shocking violence toward Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) over the past year, as well as the dangerous rhetoric and misinformation about the coronavirus that has harmed AAPI-owned businesses.
Our mission is to support diverse entrepreneurs and those in underrepresented communities, as we see on a daily basis the disadvantages faced by hard-working business owners and their employees in those communities. Sadly, this inequality goes hand-in-glove with the uptick in violence against Asian Americans and immigrants we have witnessed around the country and most recently in Atlanta.
Since Small Business Majority works with such a diverse coalition of entrepreneurs, we hear first hand what it’s like to be an AAPI business owner right now. They are frightened. And it is a testament to their strength and determination that they keep going, but they cannot hold on forever in the face of relentless discrimination.
Over the past year, hundreds of thousands of small businesses have been lost as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, along with the livelihoods of business owners, their employees and their families. It’s been well documented that this devastation has hit AAPI-owned businesses particularly hard: Asian-owned businesses nationwide have been among the most negatively impacted of all demographic groups by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As Stop AAPI Hate noted, between March 2020 and February 2021, businesses were the primary site of AAPI discrimination. This must be addressed now because it is the right thing to do for the soul of this country and the heart of our economy. After all, AAPI individuals make up less than 10% of the United States population, but make up 13% of all employer firms and own 1.9 million small businesses.
Small Business Majority stands in solidarity with the AAPI community. We will continue working with our partner organizations and small business network to focus on policies to address systemic discrimination that is actively harming the small business community, such as equitable access to loans and resources so that entrepreneurship remains open to all, and to send the message that AAPI are an invaluable part of our economy and our communities.
About Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority is a national small business organization that empowers America's diverse entrepreneurs to build a thriving and equitable economy. We engage our network of more than 80,000 small businesses and 1,000 business and community organizations to advocate for public policy solutions and deliver resources to entrepreneurs that promote equitable small business growth. Our deep connections with the small business community along with our scientific research enable us to educate the public about key issues impacting America’s entrepreneurs, with a special focus on advancing the smallest businesses and those facing systemic inequalities. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.