Celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month is observed annually in May to celebrate the contributions that generations of AANHPIs have made to American history, society, and culture.
The Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC), a premier organization representing Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) employees in the Federal and District of Columbia governments, established the national 2023 theme for the observance of AANHPI Heritage Month: “Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity.”
We are proud to support Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders who lead through opportunities found in entrepreneurship and business ownership. This year’s theme inspires us to increase our efforts to support even more AANHPI-owned businesses in our region.
According to the most recent U.S. Census data, more than 23 million Americans identify as Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander.
Maryland is the proud home to nearly 420,000 Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander residents, a population that contributes to Maryland’s ranking as the #8 most diverse state in the nation.
Additionally, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey reports that Maryland boasts more than 14,000 Asian-owned firms, employing 118,000 workers. And according to the Asian American Chamber of Commerce, Asian American businesses bring in more than half of the revenues generated by all minority businesses. There’s no better time to showcase and support these businesses than during AANHPI Heritage Month.
Maryland Women’s Business Center provides expert business advice, timely training topics, and resource assistance to help women- and minority-owned businesses launch and grow sustainable enterprises. Call (301) 315-8091 to schedule an introductory meeting with one of our business consultants.
In addition to MWBC’s assistance, the State of Maryland offers the following resources to help AANHPI businesses launch, grow, and thrive. Together, we are increasing opportunities for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander entrepreneurs to be community leaders, support job growth, and stimulate the local and national economy through business ownership.
- The Maryland Business Express has everything you need to start a business, and the Maryland Department of Commerce has a number of resources for those exploring financial assistance, seeking workforce programs, and more.
- Maryland’s Office of Small, Minority, and Women Business Affairs connects the small business community to greater economic opportunities, while implementing and monitoring procurement programs across 70 state agencies.
- The Governor’s Commission on South Asian American Affairs and Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs , housed under the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, continue to hold quarterly meetings with representatives from Maryland’s Asian community.
- The Asian American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) works to improve economic development for AAPI-owned businesses throughout the Maryland/D.C./Virginia region, with opportunities for networking, mentorships, volunteer opportunities, and more.
- The Maryland Small Business Development Center has helped businesses thrive since 1988, with locations in each of the state’s regions.
- The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), under the U.S. Department of Commerce, has an office in Baltimore to assist minority business enterprises.