Empowering AAPI Businesses: Insights from the Chino Valley Chamber’s Roundtable with Congresswoman Norma Torres

On May 29, 2024, the Chino Valley Chamber team hosted a roundtable at the offices of Congresswoman Norma Torres in honor of AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Month. The roundtable included businesses from the Chino Valley in industries such as workforce development, health care, financial services, construction, and food services. It provided an opportunity for chamber members to meet the congresswoman personally and discuss challenges they face in their businesses.

The discussion covered a variety of topics, beginning with what the congresswoman has accomplished federally and her future goals in economic development. “Where are the jobs, and what do we look like 5, 10 years from now?” stated Congresswoman Norma Torres. The congresswoman, who sits on various committees that have supported small businesses through funding, highlighted the best ways small businesses could take advantage of grants and microloans specifically designed for them. The conversation was moderated by CEO/President Zeb Welborn, who shared, “We can collaboratively work on those things together,” highlighting the importance of collaboration with other entities in the grant process. “Maybe you can’t apply for that $150 million grant, but maybe you can be part of a larger grant where you can provide your piece—know your value-add in your industry,” said Congresswoman Torres, echoing the sentiments of Mr. Welborn.


The chamber has held various roundtables and workshops to support small businesses in the often tedious process of applying for grants. “The first thing I’d suggest is to reach out to the chamber—they’ve done this before,” shared the congresswoman, addressing those who are uncertain about where to begin the process. Additionally, the congresswoman’s office will be hosting workshops for small businesses on the fundamentals of working with government contracts and encourages any business in her territory to reach out to her office for support.


If you are interested in being part of a roundtable or learning more about roundtables hosted by the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce, please reach out to Julia Cabrera, Community Engagement Director of the Chino Valley Chamber, at

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