According to the Houston Area Asian Survey conducted by the Kinder Institute of Urban Research, Harris County’s Asian population increased by 76 percent between 1990 and 2000, and then by 45 percent over the next decade. Right as the growth spurt began, the Asian Chamber of Commerce (ACC) was founded.
Now in its 30th year, the Asian Chamber is looking to increase its programs and presence in Houston as it fosters economic and business development through civic advocacy, networking, collaboration, and connections in the Houston Asian American communities and promotes trade between Houston and Asian countries.
“Over the years, ACC has been a diverse, multicultural group focused on increasing business with the Asian community locally and abroad for all Asian countries, as well as improving the overall economic prosperity of Houston,” said Paul Gor, ACC’s director of community development. “We have grown to host numerous activities and programs that foster three specific pillars: Educate, Elevate and Empower.”
For ACC, educational programs are how it helps elevate and grow its members’ capacity. “Through collaborating with partners who are involved with our Chamber, we collectively empower our Asian community to have impact and influence in the Houston economy,” said Gor. “We have come a long way in serving our community since June 1990. To reach 30 years says a lot about an organization.”
Gor said ACC’s anniversary will be a celebration and recognition of many ACC leaders and volunteers. “These are people who have labored together in building a strong foundation and paving the way for another 30 years of growth and support for the next generation of entrepreneurs,” said Gor.
ACC’s growth brought it to Westchase District three years ago when it relocated to new offices at 3535 Briarpark Drive. “The Chamber wants to have an economic impact and what better way to achieve than to be inside Westchase District where many businesses can take advantage of resources and opportunities,” said Gor.
A signature event on ACC’s calendar is the 2021 Trade Forum and Rising 10 Awards on September 10. Each year, ACC hosts a business conference to educate and provide opportunities of trade through educational workshops and a business expo. This year’s theme, “Rebound, Recover, Reengage,” will provide essential business tools and cover topics to help reengage customers as the country and our international border open up for business. Attendees will have an opportunity to listen to representatives from six to eight countries talk about trade opportunities.
ACC supports all who want to do business with the Asian community. As a result, it provides business owners connections to its members and extensive network to help promote trade.
The Asian Chamber of Commerce represents a specific demographic of Asian American and Pacific Islander-owned businesses. “From a simple startup to a well-established enterprise, all have rallied together to collectively help each other, and we invite those interested to become members to reap the benefits,” said Gor.
The next 30 years
Bin Yu is ACC’s chairman of the board. As founder of Utegration, Yu brings real-world business success to ACC and sees its future driven by board and staff involvement. “I envision we will focus the next few years rebuilding businesses who were deeply affected by the pandemic. In the long term, the Chamber will continue pushing programs in building entrepreneurs of all ages as well as advocating for Asian owned business and providing opportunities of bilateral trade among our international partners.”
Both Gor and Yu see a key measurement of ACC’s impact as being a key contributor of Houston’s booming economic growth and championing Asian representation of leaders among the city’s diverse population. Find out more about ACC by visiting asianchamber-hou.org.