Held annually during the Memorial Day weekend at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, the Asian Festival is normally the kick-off of Columbus’s festival season and the wrap-up of celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. For many festival-goers, the in-person event provides an opportunity to experience and learn about the AAPI cultures through traditional dances and performing arts while tasting their way through the myriad offerings of Asian food prepared by numerous vendors. The event, which normally attracts more than 100,000 visitors, will be virtual this year, with the hour-long special airing Saturday, May 29 on ABC 6 at noon, and Sunday, May 30 on FOX 28 at 11 a.m.

Recently, the Asian American Commerce Group (AACG) held its annual AAPI Heritage Month event featuring AAPI leaders sharing their resilient stories about working on the front line during the public health crisis. Sachiyo Isoda Peterson, partner and immigration lawyer at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, challenged the audience to commit to learning more about the AAPI community, allyship, diversity, equity and inclusion. The resource guide that she shared with the group not only helps those looking to deepen their understanding, but also provides information about social services to help those in the AAPI community who have been subjected to instances of physical violence, harassment and racist incidents.

As we celebrate AAPI Heritage Month and work to heal from the recent spike in anti-Asian hate across the country, one of the most sustainable ways to support the AAPI community is to do business at Asian-owned establishments. According to the AACG, there are 21,000 Asian-American owned businesses in Ohio employing more than 64,000 workers. Here’s a curated list of local AAPI-owned and operated businesses to support:

If you are an Asian-American business owner looking to expand your network or gain valuable insights, consider the resources the Asian American Commerce Group has to offer.  And if you know of a business that should be included, please email us.