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Recognizing AANHPI Heritage Month: Commerce Department Offers Valuable Resources and Services for Entrepreneurs and Minority and Women-Owned Businesses


This year as we celebrate Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, we must first recognize the rise of hate crimes on the AANHPI community faced this past year during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commerce Department continues to support the  Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to end this violence and root out systemic barriers to economic justice, health equity, educational attainment, and personal safety. We are proud of the AANHPI community’s perseverance and resiliency, and we continue to stand with them in solidarity.

The AANHPI community is deeply rooted in the history of the United States and are an integral part of the rich fabric of our nation. As the voice of business, the Commerce Department works every day to support and invest in the AAPI business community to create jobs and promote economic growth.  

Over our Nation’s history, the AANHPI business community has consistently provided invaluable contributions that enrich America’s culture and society. Asian American-owned employer firms account for over 40% of all minority-owned employer firms in the U.S., create 4.6 million jobs per year and contribute over 58% of the $1.4 Trillion in revenue generated by all U.S. minority-owned firms.

Many Commerce Department agencies offer a wide range of services to help U.S.-based companies, entrepreneurs, innovators, and minority and women-owned businesses compete and be successful while strengthening the United States’ role as a global leader.

Below are a list of services and resources ranging from data solutions, export solutions, intellectual property, and minority business growth.

  • The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is the only federal agency solely dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises. Minority-owned firms seeking to penetrate new markets — domestic & global — and growing in size and scale, can access business experts at a MBDA Business Center. Whether it’s securing capital, competing for a contract, identifying a strategic partner, or becoming export-ready, your success is our priority. The Centers are in areas with the largest concentration of minority populations and the largest number of minority businesses. 
  • The U.S. Census Bureau conducts various economic and business surveys and produces valuable data for businesses including detailed statistics that are essential to help small businesses succeed and grow. The U.S Census Bureau also offers the Census Business Builder (CBB), a suite of services that provide selected demographic and economic data from the Census Bureau tailored to specific types of users in a simple to access and use format. In particular, they offer the Small Business Edition for small business owners who need key data for their business plan or to better understand their potential market.
  • The International Trade Administration (ITA) provides resources and customized services for businesses currently participating in exporting and services to businesses that are new to exporting that include online resources in planning an export strategy, choosing the best markets for your product, and evaluating potential foreign business partners in advance.  
  • The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) offers a hub for resources and information for inventors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. Through this hub, they offer access to a variety of products and services including how to protect your idea or product, how to search existing patents and trademarks and how to apply for a patent or trademark.
  • The Office of Space Commerce was established to help U.S. businesses use the unique medium of space to benefit our economy. They offer a one-stop shop of resources for entrepreneurs and small businesses to discover opportunities to partner with the federal government, conducting research, technology development, testing, and applying for grants.
  • Commerce Grants and Funding Opportunities: Various Commerce agencies offer grant and Federal contracting opportunities, including resources for contractors through the Office of Small and Disadvantage Business Utilization (OSDBU and grant opportunities at all Commerce bureaus, including the Economic Development Administration (EDA), International Trade Administration (ITA), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Other Federal government tools and resources for businesses, entrepreneurs and minority and women-owned businesses can be found at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.