Sen. Cortez Masto shows support for Las Vegas AAPI small business leaders

Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (center) leads the ribbon cutting during the grand opening of Taps & Barrels in Las Vegas on Friday, August 18. The new restaurant is owned by Ming Liu (center right), a Las Vegas resident, and was the venue for the senator’s roundtable discussion with 16 AAPI community and business leaders. AJPress photos by Robert Macabagdal

U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada) met with over a dozen Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) small business owners and community leaders in Las Vegas to discuss federal resources available to help businesses grow.

Cortez Masto’s roundtable was held on Friday, August 18 at Taps & Barrels, a new AAPI-owned craft beer taproom owned by Ming Liu, a Las Vegas resident and UNLV College of Hospitality alum, and was attended by AAPI business and professional leaders who represent the fast-growing community.

“I’m proud to see the community to grow and I will continue to do everything I can to support our AAPI community at all levels,” the senator told the Asian Journal. “My goal is to continue to support and fight for them.”

She added, “Our community is beautifully diverse and is bringing so much, not just on economic support, but so much rich culture and food.”

Business owners at the event discussed barriers faced during access to information and opportunity, shared ideas on innovation and education, and overall, discussed opportunities to create a more inclusive and innovative economy.

The senator shared several actions to help the Silver State’s business community, including legistation to support business development and growth, extending the deferment period for small businesses to repay loans to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, and securing grants for Minority Business Development Centers in Las Vegas.

Cortez Masto engages in a roundtable conversation with AAPI community and business leaders in Las Vegas on Friday, August 18.

“The senator’s commitment to fostering an inclusive environment is evident through this impactful initiative,” said Catherine Francisco, CEO and Founder of the Nevada AAPI Chamber of Commerce. “By directly engaging with AANHPI business owners, the roundtable underscores the importance of collaborative policymaking that reflects the real-world needs and aspirations of our diverse community. This roundtable will serve as a catalyst for positive change and promote equitable opportunities.”

The AAPI population is the fastest growing demographic in Nevada, making up about 12% of Nevada’s population. n

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