VP Harris meets, rallies small business, local officials in SF Chinatown

By Jun Nucum
SAN FRANCISCO – The second highest official of the land took time out to have roundtable-type conversations with San Francisco small business owners, local official and community leaders at Him Mark Lai Library in highlight the Biden-Harris Administration’s investments to support America’s small businesses.

In her opening statement, Vice President Kamala Harris praised the work of owners and leaders of small businesses who are also civic and community leaders whose work have been “encouraging innovation, ambition and aspiration as all society benefits from their work since half of American workforce works or run small businesses that employs the substantial amount of people who benefits the entire economy of the nation.  .

“The work that we do to support small businesses requires that kind of partnership between government and also between our community to continue to talk about how we can continue to invest in a smart way,” Harris underscored.

Harris then proceeded to pride the Biden-Harris administration for the work they had in the last two years in what she claims “has resulted in the largest growth of small businesses in America for any two year-period in our history.”

“And it has been very intentional. The work we did at the height of the pandemic was about making sure that our small businesses could stay open. But the work also has been about the investment in the medium and long-term to grow small businesses in America which by extension means growing the job market, growing jobs and allowing communities to thrive,” shared Harris.

Harris also mentioned the legislative achievements that they had including the Inflation Reduction. Act, the Chips and Science Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that are expected to put trillions of dollars to the economy in a number of ways.

“One way I am most excited about is a clean energy economy around building up resilient and adaptation as it relates to the extreme climate that we are experiencing as a country. We are investing in American manufacturing in the ideas that we have the talent, skills to actually grow what we can do as a nation in terms of building here and investing in innovation in a new clean energy economy,” Harris explained.

The Vice President added that 75% of manufacturing companies in America have 20 or fewer employees but these small businesses play an important role in generating those that understand software, startups and think about technology and innovation in terms of the future of our country.

Harris also cited the role played by the community development financial institutions (CDFI) as a lot of work that the administration has done to support small businesses has been to invest in the community banks as they are situated in the neighborhood, in the community they understand the culture, the needs in the way big banks don’t always.

“The work that these CDFIs are doing is not only about a loan. Is it also making the small business owners believe in their capacity and have the resources that are necessary to successfully run a small business. That might include giving support and feedback around how to deal with payroll, taxes, how to think about investing in the business capital so the business can grow and thrive,” Harris emphasized.

California Assemblymember Phil Ting representing 19th District was happy that Vice President Harris came out to Chinatown and met with its small businesses and local leaders like him..

“The discussion focused on entrepreneurship in the community and the Vice President shared information about the Administration’s efforts to expand small business access to capital,” Ting imparted. “Having the first Asian Pacific Islander Vice President come to meet with Chinatown small businesses and discuss the issues they care about was a significant moment for our community and I am glad to see that we have an ally in the White House.”

Being the only Filipino to attend the event, Philippine News Today publisher Francis Espiritu was also elated that the first and highest leader of the country with Asian descent took the chance to meet and converse with small business leaders who are given a much-needed push especially after the punishing consequences of the pandemic that still are being felt by some.

“Having Vice President Kamala Harris herself talking and interacting with small business leaders and local officials is a big boost for the community that is assured that they have the administration’s backing and much-needed support,” Espiritu stressed.