December 2017 Newsletter

Open Enrollment Conference Calls

National ACE was please to co-host two conference calls in November to help spread the word about open enrollment for small business owners and entrepreneurs.  This year, the open enrollment period is open for only six weeks from November 1 – December 15 (last year’s open period lasted twelve weeks).  To help alert Americans who are self-employed or who do not get insurance from their employers, we partnered with Public Private Strategies for these timely calls on both November 2nd and November 20th.  Other co-hosts included Get America Covered, Main Street Alliance, Small Business Majority, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.  Former Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills joined us for the November 20 call.  While the rate of sign ups is currently far surpassing that of last year, the overall enrollment numbers are lower as a result of the shortened period.  National ACE will continue to use its platform to promote the importance of open enrollment for our partners and friends, which happens only once a year.


Walmart Listening Tour

On November 8th, National ACE participated in the Walmart Listening Tour in Richmond, VA.  Walmart’s Senior Director of Community Affairs, Keith Morris, attended this event with the purpose of learning about what is happening in different communities throughout the country, to listen to as many people from as many sectors as possible, and to get a sense of the various daily impacts facing Americans. 

The event was hosted by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Asian American Business Assistance Center and their executive director, My Lan Tran.  National ACE continues to be proud of the partnership we have with Walmart and we look forward to joining future listening tour events that will be taking place throughout the country.



Asian Pacific Heritage Month

In preparation for 2018’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), National ACE attended a planning meeting hosted by the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) to begin the discussion about next May’s celebrations.  The next meeting will take place on December 14th when we will be forming a steering committee, building a general calendar structure for APAHM, coordinate specific events with specific organizations, review the priorities and capacity for holding an event on the Hill with CAPAC, and identify federal agencies to form “policy roundtable discussions” with key executive agency leaders in coordination with NCAPA organizations. 


CAPAC Meeting


On November 29th, National ACE was welcomed to Capitol Hill to meet with Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) to discuss our policy priorities.  ACE was represented by our President and CEO Chiling Tong, Vice President of Development Daniel Oliver, and Policy Committee Members Matthew Lee, Michael Chan, and Mark Keam.  Board Member Bill Imada was able to join via conference call. 

House Members attending included CAPAC Chairwoman Judy Chu (CA-27), Congressman Mark Takano (CA-04), Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06), Congressman Gregorio Sablan (Northern Mariana Islands), Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01), and Congressman Al Green (TX-09).  We had a lively discussion about the current tax reform legislation being debated, net neutrality, the DREAM Act, trade and commerce, MBDA funding, and small businesses.  National ACE also agreed to look deeper into the issue of deporting veterans – an issue that is of particular importance to the APIA community.



Verizon Briefing on the Future of Broadband

On November 20th, National ACE attended a briefing hosted by Verizon titled Broad and American Infrastructure, Building the Next Generation.  Verizon specifically reached out to national non-profit organizations to present us with their plan of maintaining and enhancing broadband infrastructure and accessibility in the years to come.  We discussed Verizon’s strategy for the ever-increasing necessity of wireless technology, their rollout of the 5G network, and the ways they plan to update the infrastructure in preparation for the next generation of broadband communication.


Meeting with the Small Business Administration

National ACE, accompanied by Matthew Lee from KoBE and Michael Chan from Asian, Inc, met with SBA’s Office of Advocacy on November 29thto discuss the importance of helping APIA small businesses throughout the country. We spoke with Assistant Chief Counsel Janis Reyes and Regulatory Economist Lindsey Scherber from the Office of Advocacy, which represents the collective voice of small business in the federal government. Their office deals specifically with research, outreach, and regulation on topics like labor, employment, disability, and immigration. When they receive new regulations, the agency reviews for feedback, recommendation, and comments for further improvements. They review to find out what small businesses will be impacted and possible alternatives to provide.  They then reach out to different chambers and agencies to get feedback to SBA. This is important because there often is a lack of voice from Asian businesses. The role of their economists is to conduct research for creating reports, infographics, and issue releases. The data is broken down to show percentages and numbers of small businesses throughout the country. Their data can also show Asian-owned firms by size and by average earnings in different regions. Their goal is to reach out to small businesses at the local level to discuss new regulations and research publications. They maintain a strong voice for small business and we look forward to continuing our work with the SBA for the purpose of strengthening Asian-owned businesses. 



Meeting with the U.S. Department of Transportation

National ACE met with the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) of the US Department of Transportation on November 29th. We spoke with Director Willis Morris and Supervisor of Procurement Assistance Division DeVera Redmond.We discussed strategies on improving AAPI small businesses by working with government agencies and how to obtain contracting and subcontracting agreements. They spoke about how they utilize Federal Business Opportunities to identify available contracting and procurement opportunities. Small businesses are encouraged to sign up online to access these links and resources and certifications are important to help smaller firms compete for procurements. OSDBU assists with management and technological assistance, DBE certification, procurement ready, and bonding. Suggestions for small businesses were to attend outreach events in order to meet other businesses. We also discussed the barriers AAPI businesses experience when competing for contracts. The aging generation may experience technological and language barriers or cultural differences in working with the U.S. government. OSDBU is working toward solutions in helping with breaking the barriers that AAPI businesses face, and National ACE will continue to work with the Department of Transportation to see that they are successful.



Google Briefing on Aging and Technology

On November 30th, National ACE attended an event hosted by Google and Get Older Adults onLine (GOAL) for a briefing on Aging and Technology: Creating Opportunities to Age Well with Innovation.  Keynote speakers included U.S. Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) and the Federal Communications Commission Chairman AjitPai.  We learned about the progress innovative technologies have made to help revolutionize the ability of older individuals to accomplish everyday tasks, stay connected to family and friends, and the importance of urging policymakers and regulators to be mindful of the impact new technologies can have on the aging population.  National ACE was able to briefly meet with Chairman Pai to express its disappointment about the recent personal and racial social media attacks the Chairman and his family had received.  He was pleased to accept our support in this regard. 


Looking Ahead

Please save May 15th on your calendars.  In the evening of May 15, 2018, APAICS will hold its Annual Gala and Awards Dinner in Washington, DC.  During the day on May 15th, National ACE is planning to once again host the National AAPI Business Summit. The purpose of the Summit is to celebrate Asian American & Pacific Islander business success and address issues facing AAPI businesses across the nation in the areas of access to contracts, capital, and global markets.