Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month: How Asian-Owned Businesses are Transforming Communities

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, a month to celebrate the history, culture, and traditions of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month started between 1978 and 1979, when Congress designated the first ten days of May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. The celebration was expanded to a month in 1990. 

Today, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated across the country with the goal of honoring Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history and who continue to contribute to its future success.  

In honor of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, we’re excited to highlight an Asian-owned small business located in Minnesota. 

iPho by Saigon

iPho by Saigon is an Asian-owned, Saint Paul, MN-based restaurant providing traditional Vietnamese food to low-income and other communities in Minnesota.  

Thinh Pham and a business partner co-lead iPho by Saigon. The business has over 20 years of experience in creating authentic, unique, and delicious cuisine in the heart of the Vietnamese-American community in Saint Paul, MN. Diners can visit one of three iPho locations and enjoy over 200 varieties of authentic Vietnamese dishes. 

These restaurants have become important gathering places and cultural cornerstones for the community and were severely impacted by closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. They had to rapidly shift to a takeout and delivery model as in-person dining became impossible. 

iPho secured a PPP loan from CRF, so that they could continue making payroll, and transition to takeout and delivery options during and beyond the stay-at-home order. 

This enabled the business to retain nearly 30 employees and keep the restaurant open for its loyal clientele and newcomers. 

We hope you’ll join us in supporting your local Asian- and Pacific Islander-owned businesses in May and beyond. 

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