September 25, 2020

Duckworth Discusses Small Business Development with Chinese Mutual Aid Association


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today held a virtual roundtable with staff and board members of the Chinese Mutual Aid Association (CMAA) to discuss small business development, as well as the organization’s response throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. CMAA was selected to be an Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and began running operations earlier this year, the only Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) SBDC in Illinois.

“Starting and operating a small business always has its challenges, but we know the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more difficult for small business owners,” Duckworth said. “Beyond that, minority-owned small businesses can struggle to access the capital they need to start or grow, and that’s why it’s so important for these communities to have access to resources like small business development centers. It was a pleasure to speak with members of the Chinese Mutual Aid Association today to learn more about their Small Business Development Center, and I’ll keep doing what I can to support small business owners in the AAPI community.”

As a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Duckworth has taken a number of actions to support small business. Last year, Duckworth introduced the Microloan Program Expansion Act of 2019 to improve the SBA’s Microloan Program, which aims to help minority-owned small businesses that may have been overlooked by traditional commercial lenders. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Duckworth helped pass legislation to extend the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), as well as introduced legislation to better appropriate PPP funding targeted toward Black and brown-owned small businesses.

The Chinese Mutual Aid Association is a community-based social services agency targeting the low-income immigrant and refugee community.