Susan Au Allen, National President and CEO, U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation
Susan Au Allen shares her perspective on Gallup's report on lending to diverse segments and how it relates to USPAACC members.
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At Wells Fargo, we believe that successful small businesses are the foundation of a healthy, vibrant, American community. That's why serving small business owners is one of the most important things we do.
Yet we also know that many small businesses across the country, including those in diverse communities, are still recovering from the great recession. Serving diverse-owned businesses is a priority for us, and we know that more needs to be done to help those businesses grow and prosper. It's also clear that we, as well as those who support small business in our country, need to better understand the challenges facing diverse business owners.
For this reason, we turned to Gallup to conduct a study working with the U.S. Black Chambers, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation. Gallup surveyed diverse business owners nationwide to better understand their motivations for starting a business, their funding needs, and their attitudes towards credit. We learned about how diverse small business owners addressed funding needs and their perception of financial institutions. We heard about their desire for resources, education, and tools to help their business succeed.
In this video, Susan Au Allen, President and CEO of U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation, shares her perspective about the study and how it relates to USPAACC members.
SUSAN AU ALLEN:
The survey that was commissioned gave me some interesting insight into what's happening with the diverse market. I found that there were a lot of commonalities. A small business that just got started and wanted to succeed in the next three years, the biggest challenges are access to capital, access to the market, and get the first big contract, and access to dedicated, capable, loyal employees.
Over 66% of Asian Americans are immigrants or sons and daughters of immigrants. They come from countries where banking credit is not the norm. So when they come over here, they're used to paying cash and putting cash at home and keeping it until the rainy day comes when they need to use it or when the opportunity comes when they will use it to buy a piece of property, buy a car, or start a business.
When the time comes to apply for credit, they will not have the credit history to apply for a loan or a line of credit. That is a challenge that Asian Americans have, many of them, especially the immigrants, the older generation.
The reason the Asian American business are planning to apply for more credit in the coming 12 months is that business is good. Many Asian Americans are going into business in America because they see that this is the place of opportunity for entrepreneurs. They can exercise their free will. They can start their own business, be their own boss, have their own time, and still take care of their family.
For a small business to position itself to apply for business credit, start now. Go to their bank and start perhaps with a business credit card and start a line of credit with your business account and pay it off. Be very systematic. Don't miss any payments so that when the time comes for you really to apply for a serious business loan, you have the credit record to back you up.
For a bank that wants to market to the Asian American business community, they've got to get into the market. Get into the community and work with them. Become one of them. Celebrate their successes, and be there when they're unsuccessful. If you are there to give them that extra help, they will remember you, and that's the best way to be in relationship with the Asian community. So trust in the people who will be there with you when you need help is very important. It's a very important value to the Asian Americans.
Overall, Asian American businesses are very optimistic about the marketplace. Many of our members, for example, are growing at double digits. They buck the economic trend. They are successful. So they are very happy, looking forward for better futures.