Geri Sanchez Aglipay, Great Lakes Regional administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, offers insight into Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May.

SBA: Empowering inclusive growth

Celebrating Asian American entrepreneurship in Indiana

Geri Sanchez Aglipay
Geri Sanchez Aglipay

May is Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month honoring AANHPI contributions to our nation’s economy and cultural fabric. Asian Americans are the one of the fastest growing Indiana racial demographics. In search of better opportunities — from railroad workers, farm laborers as my father, to owning Main Street small businesses — history shows AANHPI’s resilience, work and entrepreneurial spirit helped build this nation.

History is in the making, as the Biden-Harris Administration economic agenda is spurring a “small business boom” of roughly 18 million new business applications to date. It’s the highest of any presidential administration, with more than a quarter of a million of those right here in Indiana. Small business owners have confidence in the economy!

Asian Americans are powering this startup boom through family-owned restaurants, home health care services, retail shops, high-tech startups, engineering and construction firms, manufacturing, the skilled trades and more.

But lack of access to capital persists for many entrepreneurs with a decline between 2017 and 2020. However, under President Joe Biden, funding for AANHPI-owned businesses is on the rise with a whopping 44% increase in the number of loans and 36% increase in loan dollar volume.

SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman has led reforms at the SBA that reduce capital access barriers for underserved and disadvantaged communities. Members of the AANHPI community are betting on themselves and their ideas because they’re empowered.

The SBA is committed to ensuring AANHPI entrepreneurs can sustainably start, run and grow businesses that innovate and solve global problems. I witness this every day when I meet small businesses who are flourishing because they access the SBA’s affordable financing, free counseling, online resources, tools (including language support) by the SBA staff and its trusted partners in nonprofits, state and city governments, academia, incubators, accelerators and more.

President Biden’s Investing in America economic agenda is grounded in equity, which strengthens the foundations of an inclusive economy from the middle out and bottom up through diverse working- and middle-class entrepreneurs. Small businesses are economic engines that catalyze prosperity for all, and that includes the 3 million AANHPI small businesses in America that sustain jobs for 5.2 million people and generate roughly $958 billion in annual sales.

In May, the SBA is proud to support the living legacy of Asian American small businesses who create good jobs, financial security and generational wealth.


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