Asian American Chamber of Commerce - Grace Santos

01/24/05

The First Asian American Small Business Workshop of Tampa Bay was held on Saturday, Jan 22nd. WMNF’s Grace Santos was there and files this report.

The Asian American Chambers of Commerce of Tampa Bay was recently established with the purpose of providing small business resources and education to the Asian American community. Over 200 people attended their first event, the Small Business Workshop.
Santosh Govindaraju, Board member of IndoUS and CEO of Paragon Mortgage welcomed the attendees and began the workshop with a moment of silence for the Tsunami victims in Asia.

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All the proceeds from the event were donated to relief efforts for the Tsunami victims. Mr. Govindaraju then discussed how Asians are treated in America.

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Also speaking was Irene Hurst, Director of the University of South Florida’s Small Business Center.

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Some of the panelists at the workshop included Dr. Kiran Patel, who has made the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Conservatory possible, and Ling Yu of Gord and Associates, who recently won a $3 million contract with Hillsborough County for the design of an advanced traffic management system. One of the major proponents of the Asian Chamber is Paul Beraquit, President of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce. He was recently nominated for the 2005 Tampa Bay Minority Business Man of the Year. This was the first time that a Filipino was nominated for the award.

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WMNF asked some of the attendees what they thought of the Asian American Small Business Workshop.

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For more information on the Asian Chambers of Commerce, contact Irene Hurst at hurst@coba.usf.edu. For WMNF news, I’m Grace Santos.

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