February 09, 2024

Ahead of Lunar New Year, Duckworth Highlights Chinatown Small Businesses


[CHICAGO, IL] – Ahead of Lunar New Year, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today led a tour through Chicago’s Chinatown to highlight its vibrant Asia American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander-owned small business community. Duckworth, along with Chicago 2024 Host Committee Executive Director Christy George, the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce and local leaders discussed the challenges these small businesses face, as well as the economic opportunity that Chicago hosting the 2024 Democratic National Convention in August presents for these and other small businesses throughout Chicagoland. Photos from today’s tour are available on the Senator’s website.

“The strength of Chicago is in the strength and diversity of its people and neighborhoods—and that is nowhere more evident than in Chinatown,” Duckworth said. “As we prepare to usher in the Year of the Dragon—a year that symbolizes power, good fortune and strength—it was great to hear from some of our local AANHPI business owners. I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure the economic impact of the Convention is felt in Chinatown, across all of our vibrant neighborhoods in Chicago and throughout Chicagoland.”

“Chicago is home to a diverse and vibrant small business community,” said Host Committee Executive Director Christy George. “There is no better way to kick off the Year of the Dragon and usher in this summer’s Convention than by hearing directly from some AAPI-owned small business owners and ensuring the economic benefits of hosting the DNC flow to communities across Chicago.”

The leaders toured Ken Kee restaurant, Ichiban Candy and Snack and King KTV Karaoke. Duckworth and George were joined by Illinois State Representative Theresa Mah (IL-HD-02), 11th Ward Alderman Nicole Lee, Chinatown Chamber of Commerce President Jimmy Lee, Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community Executive Director Grace Chan and Chinese American Service League CEO Paul Luu.

As a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Duckworth has consistently worked to help ensure minority-owned small businesses have better access to capital, including passing legislation to leverage approximately $64 million in support of minority-owned small businesses and other underserved small business interests.

As the host city of the Democratic National Convention this August, Chicago is expected to host roughly 50,000 visitors, 15,000 members of the media, 5,500 delegates and alternates and other guests with millions in economic impact for the host city.