How USPAACC and the U.S. SBA Helped a Thai Restaurant Survive and Thrive During the Pandemic

Paterson, NJ, September 20, 2023 – The US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation (USPAACC) today released a video interview with Sumsak (Andy) Chamnarnkong, co-owner of Gub Khao Thai Restaurant, a family-owned business that offers authentic Thai cuisine in Paterson, New Jersey. Mr. Chamnarnkong shared how his restaurant was able to overcome the challenges of the pandemic with the help of USPAACC and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Community Navigator Pilot Program (CNPP), an impactful initiative that provides funding and support to small businesses in underserved communities.

In the video interview, Mr. Chamnarnkong discussed how pandemic-driven inflation impacted his business’s bottom line, how he utilized some of the CNPP services offered by USPAACC Northeast, one of the 14 Regional Spokes led by USPAACC as a Tier 1 National Hub, and how USPAACC helped him increase his customer base and sales by reaching more people online and offline. The video interviews can be viewed at USPAACC Youtube.

The CNPP is an innovative program launched by the SBA on December 1, 2021, to help small businesses recover from the pandemic and grow their businesses. The program funds organizations that partner with the SBA to create a network of trusted local groups and individuals who can connect small businesses to various resources and opportunities, such as financial assistance, operations, contracting, marketing, training, and more. The program aims to reach small businesses in underserved communities that face barriers to accessing these resources.

USPAACC is the largest and most established nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that serves as the voice and advocate for Pan Asian American/AANHPI businesses in the United States. USPAACC has a strong network of members, partners, and affiliates across the country that provide services and programs to help Pan Asian American/AANHPI businesses succeed and grow.

In October 2021, USPAACC was named a Tier 1 National Hub by the SBA and received a $500,000 grant to implement CNPP services. As a National Hub, USPAACC leads 14 State Spokes that cover different geographic areas and serve various segments of the Pan Asian American/AANHPI business community.

Gub Khao Thai Restaurant is a family-owned business that was founded by Hathaichanok (Linda) Chamnarnkong and Somsak Chamnarnkong. The restaurant offers authentic, delicious Thai cuisine made with fresh ingredients and traditional recipes. Gub Khao Thai Restaurant is one of the few Thai restaurants in Paterson, NJ, the second largest city in New Jersey and a diverse and vibrant community. The restaurant was ranked number five on the list of Yelp’s “Top 50 Places to Eat in North Jersey” for 2021. Starting a new business during the pandemic was extremely difficult for Gub Khao Thai Restaurant. The co-owners faced many challenges, such as getting permits, connecting utilities, disposing trash, finding parking, and more.

They also had to cope with the reduced demand and revenue due to the social distancing and lockdown measures. They found help in the CNPP operated by USPAACC Northeast, one of the State Spokes led by USPAACC. USPAACC Northeast helped the restaurant in the following ways:

  • Securing a $19,214 New Jersey Economic Development Authority Small Business Improvement Grant in December 2022. The grant funding was a huge financial relief for the business, covering over 20 percent of its total annual revenue in 2022. The funds were used to improve the restaurant’s appearance, quality, and efficiency, purchase new tables and chairs, upgrade kitchen equipment, and install new signs and lights;
  • Resolving the restaurant’s operational issues, such as obtaining permits, connecting utilities, disposing trash, finding parking, and complying with health and safety regulations so it could open smoothly and efficiently; and
  • Increasing the customer base and sales by reaching more people online and offline, through a website, social media, online ordering, delivery service, and more.

Gub Khao Thai Restaurant currently employs four full-time staff and plans to hire more as the business continues growing.

“USPAACC is proud to serve as a National Hub and lead 14 State Spokes in administering service, support, and funding through the CNPP. The SBA’s program continues making a real difference in helping small businesses like Gub Khao Thai Restaurant overcome challenges from the pandemic and thrive,” said Susan Au Allen, CEO of USPAACC.

“I am grateful for the help and support provided by USPAACC and the SBA’s CNPP that helped our business overcome the pandemic’s many challenges and prosper,” said Sumsak Chamnarnkong, Gub Khao Thai Restaurant Co-owner.

For more details on USPAACC helping Gub Khao Thai Restaurant through the SBA’s CNPP, email [email protected] or call (202) 296-5221.


Founded in 1984 in the nation’s capital, USPAACC is the most established, effective national nonprofit nonpartisan business organization representing the unified voice for equal opportunity for Pan Asian American/AANHPI-related groups in business, sciences, the arts, sports, education, public and community services. Visit to learn more.

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