Open for Business grant to help Asian American businesses emerge stronger from pandemic

The US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation (USPAACC) today outlined the steps it is utilizing for a $500,000 grant provided through Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund to further USPAACC’s ongoing mission of helping Asian American businesses emerge stronger from the pandemic.

Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund provides support for nonprofit organizations that serve diverse small businesses with a focus on African American, Latino, Asian American, American Indian, and Alaska Native entrepreneurs, among others. Through the program, Wells Fargo engages CDFIs and nonprofits to help businesses manage the economic impacts of COVID-19, providing needed assistance in access to capital, technical assistance, and long-term recovery and resiliency support.

USPAACC is utilizing the funds to provide targeted small businesses with specially designed technical assistance training and advisory services on financial literacy, management capacity, digital empowerment, marketing, and promotion strategies, and how to recruit, train and retain employees, respectively.

USPAACC is utilizing the funding to benefit small businesses through:

  • Online education resources: LiveTALK, Business Leadership Series;
  • Providing a business cohort program “Business Express: Ready? Let's Grow!”;   
  • Offering USPAACC’s Business Leadership Series (BLS). BLS is a unique educational opportunity for business people to engage in meaningful discussion about business experiences to grow leadership skills and learn practical and positive impact-proven management practices and tools for future success. Join us for USPAACC’s BLS series – – where we will dive into best practices and technical assistance to grow and protect your business. This series will cover a wide variety of topics from financial and strategic business planning to economic forecasting, tax preparation, obtaining minority business certifications and more, offering targeted support, and development resources designed to create and maintain a strong operating capacity for your organization;     
  • Creation of YouTube education videos for small businesses to access technical assistance and conduct a social media campaign to create a survey and reach out to the hardest-hit small businesses;
  • Formation of a referral network to refer small businesses in need of other assistance to other organizations such as legal, finance, technology, and marketing support;    
  • Supporting the business communities in Georgia and New York/New Jersey, two of the states where Asian American small businesses were hit first and hard by the pandemic and hate crimes; and 
  • Support of the grassroots organization “BeChinatown” Located in San Francisco, USPAACC will support BeChinatown’s effort to bring assistance to neighborhoods in Sunset, Bayview, Visitacion Valley, and Richmond where moderate-and low-income immigrants are located. These new immigrants form small businesses to make a living and receive little attention and help. BeChinatown is preparing to conduct a survey in the community and identify specific needs for the fund to be used in supporting these small businesses.

In November, USPAACC National President and CEO Susan Au Allen hosted a Fireside Chat with Charlie Scharf, Wells Fargo & Co.'s CEO, discussing the initiative. Their conversation is available at

“Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund Grant Program is a terrific initiative laser-focused on making a direct impact helping diverse small businesses recover from COVID. I thank Wells Fargo, and CEO Charlie Scharf, for their generosity and continued commitment to assisting small businesses. USPAACC is using this grant funding to help educate, train, develop, and grow Pan Asian American/AAPI small businesses, especially those hit hardest by COVID-19, financially and personally. We look forward to continuing our over 19-year and productive partnership with Wells Fargo in supporting and strengthening our community’s small businesses that are so vital to America’s economy,” said Susan Au Allen, USPAACC National President and CEO.


US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation USPAACC Wells Fargo Open for Business Fund CDFI COVID-19 LiveTALK Business Leadership Series Business Express BLS YouTube education videos small businesses BeChinatown USPAACC National President CEO Susan Au Allen Fireside Chat Charlie Scharf Wells Fargo CEO Business Fund Grant Program

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