How to Secure AAPI Business Grants and Loans
If you’re an AAPI business, you may be looking for grants and loans to help you cover expenses and grow your venture. The good news is that plenty of organizations and resources can help you. Here’s a closer look at what they are and what you can do to lock in AAPI business financing, no matter your industry or how long you’ve been around.
Organizations with AAPI Financing
These organizations support AAPI businesses through grants and scholarship programs you may want to explore.
Asian Professional Exchange
The Asian Professional Exchange or APEX is a non-profit supporting Asian Pacific Americans in Southern California. In addition to financing and sponsorship opportunities, it offers access to cultural events, professional networking opportunities, educational seminars, charitable fundraisers, and more. You can join the board or become a traditional member to take advantage of all APEX offers.
Small Business Administration
While private lenders distribute SBA loans, they’re partially guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA), which supports all small businesses in the U.S, including those AAPI-owned organizations. Although many SBA loans are available, the SBA 7(a) is the most popular.
You can use an SBA loan upon approval for commercial real estate, startup costs, working capital, equipment, machinery, business debt consolidation, expansion, and more. You may qualify for low rates and up to $5 million in funding with lengthy repayment terms of up to 25 years. SBA loans should be on your radar as long as you have good credit and have been in business for at least two years.
Asian American Business Development Center
Founded in 1994, the Asian American Business Development Center or AABDC strives to “promote greater recognition of Asian American businesses’ contributions to the general economy.” It hosts several events throughout the year, including the Asian American Business Roundtable, which can open the doors to networking opportunities and funding options. The organization also offers technical assistance, mentorship, and disaster relief recovery programs.
Asian Chamber of Commerce
Depending on where you live, you may be able to join an Asian Chamber of Commerce. These local organizations promote and support AAPI businesses through networking, collaboration, and advocacy. Some of them also offer workshops, seminars, events, and grants. Houston, Dallas, Las Vegas, and Phoenix are several cities with an Asian Chamber of Commerce.
National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship
Sponsored by UPS and the National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship (National ACE), the AAPISTRONG Proudly Unstoppable Fund is designed to help AAPI-owned businesses recover from the negative impacts of the pandemic. These include increased discrimination and bias that may occur.
To apply for this $5,000 grant, your business must be at least 51% AAPI owned, currently operating in a maximum of three locations, and not part of a franchise or chain. You must also agree to participate in media opportunities related to the program.
4 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Getting a Grant or Loan
Now that you know where to look for AAPI business grants and loans follow these tips to boost your chances of securing them.
1. Apply Everywhere
There is no limit to how many grants or loans you can apply for at one time. Therefore, it only makes sense to cast a wide net and apply for all of those with qualification requirements that you meet. While applying takes time and effort, it’s often well worth the potential cash you can receive to improve and grow your business.
2. Understand Your Audience
Before applying for a grant or loan, please get to know the organization offering it. You can tailor your application to their unique priorities and interests. A customized application will take more time but will likely yield better results.
3. Don’t Rush the Process
You might not have much extra time as a business owner. But rushing through a grant or loan application can lead to rejection or approval delays. Do your best to apply for funding opportunities long before their deadlines so that you don’t feel the need to speed through the applications.
4. Consider a Grant Writer
Suppose you’ve been in business for a while. In that case, it may be worth hiring a professional grant writer to ensure your application is as strong as possible. While you will have to make an upfront investment, a grant writer can mean the difference between getting noticed and rejected for a particular grant.
Conclusion: Take Advantage of AAPI Grants and Loans
Asian American business grants and AAPI business loans are ideal if you need capital to meet your business goals. As long as you research, figure out which options you qualify for, and complete each application carefully and thoughtfully, you’re bound to land at least a few.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.