The largest networking event of the year for Asian small businesses in Southern California– the 15th Annual Asian Small Business Expo–will be held on Sat. Sept. 20. In Alhambra, Calif. . The Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program (APISBP), which runs the Expo, expects 500 attendees this year.
“The theme this year is ‘Reaching New Markets,’” said Rick Kim, Economic Development Services Coordinator at KYCC, one of five member organizations of APISBP, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit group that is partly funded by the federal Small Business Administration (SBA).
The chairman of the California Board of Equalization, Jerome Horton, will be a special guest at the Expo. The powerful tax commission sets the state’s tax policies.
The conference is a business-to-business expo that will feature about 45 exhibitors –banks, insurance companies, regulators, politicians, suppliers, franchisors, fellow business owners, business services and marketing experts. Information about start-up opportunities will also be distributed.
The Expo provides a valuable opportunity for small business owners to create, market, or expand a business.
“If you’re a Korean business that wants to tap into the Japanese market, for example, this expo can help you,” Kim said. “It’s about expanding markets and networking.” Not only can the Expo help a business reach another Asian ethnic market, it can also help the business tap non-Asian and mainstream markets. “The mainstream way of doing business is not the same as the way of doing business in Asia,” Kim said.
Free workshops will address topics including marketing, sales and use taxes, and small-business loans. There will be limited language support—in Korean, Tagalog, Chinese, Thai and Japanese–at the workshops and at the Expo in general.
The conference is the oldest Asian-American small-business expo in the area. In addition to KYCC, the small business program includes member organizations Little Tokyo Service Center, Chinatown Service Center, Thai Community Development Center, and Search to Involve Pilipino (cq) Americans (SIPA).
To get the most out of the event, business owners should take a pro-active approach, Kim recommended.
“Go up to people at the tables and approach people who are just around,” Kim urged. “You never know who the guy next to you is. Sometimes it’s worth the two minutes it takes to find out.”
Small businesses can rent an exhibition booth, from which they can pass out literature about their products and services. The booths are expected to sell out, so if you want to rent a booth, or preregister for the conference, go to the Expo website at http://www.apisbp.org/expo.html.
If you have questions about the event, you may also contact KYCC Business Counselor Charles R. Kim at email@example.com or at (213) 365-7400 x5210.
Where: Almansor Court Banquet and Conference Center
700 S. Almansor St. Alhambra, CA 91801
When: Sat. Sept. 20, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Admission, workshops and parking are free.