Welcome to The Times in Plain English   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to The Times in Plain English

Helping Immigrants Start Their Own Businesses

August 27, 2012
Plain English Version

Immigrants starting small businesses in Los Angeles have a friend in Ron Fong. Mr.

Photo by Katie Falkenberg for The Los Angeles Times

Fong directs the Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program.  He grew up in the El Sereno district of Los Angeles and is the son of manual laborers.

His group has worked with 3,625 clients since 1999. He assisted in the growth of 400 new businesses. Among the start-ups are a Vietnamese comfort-food restaurant, a pre-school program and a Filipino Barbeque restaurant.

Mr. Fong teaches business developers how to fill out corporate forms, write a marketing plan and do accounting. Many of his clients are first-generation immigrants. He helps them deal with language barriers.

He says many clients were professionals in their home countries. But they had to change their ways when they moved to the US. Many want to grow businesses in their own communities, such as Little Tokyo and Historic Filipinotown.

It is a challenge to keep his company in business. Banks are merging and cutting back on loan assistance programs. Mr.Fong said, “I am hoping we can ride this out and we get more corporate support once the economy improves. I would be happy just doing more small-business assistance.”

The Los Angeles Times

Print Friendly

In Brief

Selling Kids on Vegetables

How to get kids to eat vegetables? Marketing is the answer. You can call it tricks or just good ideas. Whatever works.

School lunchrooms are...

What Do You Call Yourself if Your Mother is White and Your Father is Black?

On the 2010 Census, President Barack Obama, identified himself as  “black.” But millions of Americans consider themselves “bi- or multi-racial.”  And their numbers are...

Mending Walls, By Robert Frost

Robert Frost (1874 – 1963) was a great American poet. Just before he died, he read his poetry at the inauguration of President John...

Pineapple on Pizza? The Global Debate

The President of Iceland started it. Last week he joked that pizza topped with pineapple should be outlawed. His remarks set off a debate...

Archives

Dictionary
  • dictionary
  • English Dictionary

Double click on any word on the page or type a word:

Powered by dictionarist.com
Click to listen highlighted text!