BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT.
Ms. CHU. Madam Chair, the Small Business Lending Fund Act is critical to helping small businesses across the country and is, therefore, critical to helping people because small businesses create more jobs than anyone else. Small businesses sustain their communities.
Our amendment ensures that we don't leave minority business owners behind. Minority businesses need every opportunity to grow, create jobs, and contribute to their community. But there are barriers. Our amendment makes sure that bank lending plans, outreach, and advertising are culturally and linguistically appropriate for diverse sets of businesses. This provision is essential for the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities because government programs can miss important details when they don't account for cultural and linguistic differences.
Take the Census Bureau, for instance, which provides so many funds for our communities. Earlier this year, they mistranslated parts of the Vietnamese census forms. The forms used a phrase connected to the previous governmental regime which meant ``government investigation'' in place of the word ``census.'' Clearly this was no minor gaffe. The language in this amendment ensures that future outreach doesn't repeat these mistakes, that is, excluding deserving businesses from great opportunities.
But it's not just minority businesses that need access to this program. Minority-owned banks also deserve the right to compete. That's why our amendment makes sure such institutions receive consideration during the program's implementation. Minority-owned banks play a vital role in the Asian Pacific Islander and minority business development endeavor; and together they enhance the country's economic recovery and long-term growth. Minority firms currently provide nearly 5 million steady jobs but could potentially create over 11 million more. Our amendment helps them do so.
I ask my colleagues to support this amendment because it eliminates obstacles in the way of our Nation's minority businesses and facilitates their growth during these very tough economic times.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT.