Asian American Small Business Association Records

Dates: 1990-2001
Size: .75 linear feet
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Sulzer Regional Library, Northside Neighborhood History Collection, 4455 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625
Collection Number: nnhc.aasba
Provenance: Donated by Robert Krueger, Marion Krueger, and Charlie Soo
Access: No restrictions
Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Asian American Small Business Association Records, [Box #, Folder #], Northside Neighborhood History Collection, Chicago Public Library
Processed by: Harry Klinkhamer, 1996; updated by Allyson Smally, 2020-2021

Historical Note

The Asian American Small Business Association (AASBA) was established by Charlie Soo in 1979 to encourage economic development on Argyle Street from Sheridan Road to Broadway, and on Broadway near Argyle Street. Cecil Partee, head of Chicago’s Department of Human Services, asked Soo to reinvigorate the Argyle Street community. Soo, a graduate of Roosevelt University and a member of several economic development committees, created the AASBA to unite business owners to fight crime, improve streets, revamp the rapid transit station, and increase public awareness of the community. Economic grants were used to fix sidewalks, update facades, and remodel the rapid transit station. Events like Argyle Fest and Chinese New Year aimed to increase awareness of Argyle Street among politicians and the public. Charlie Soo died in 2001, and the group’s activity appears to have ended with his death.

Scope and Content

This collection documents activities of the Asian American Small Business Association and its founder and director, Charlie Soo. The bulk of the material consists of news releases and flyers promoting events. It also includes newspaper articles about Argyle Street, letters from Soo, reports, newsletters, and ephemera.

Arrangement/Series Description

The collection is arranged in three series. Folders within series are arranged alphabetically.

Series 1: Administrative and Historical Files, 1990-2001

This series contains annual reports, news clippings, newsletters, a directory, programs, and biographical information about Charlie Soo.

Series 2: Correspondence and Ephemera, 1990-1999

This series contains Charlie Soo's letters to 48th Ward Alderman Mary Ann Smith and his friends Robert and Marion Krueger. It also contains a small amount of miscellaneous personal ephemera and correspondence.

Series 3: Events and Local Businesses, 1990-1996

This series contains programs, fliers, invitations, reports, and news clippings that document events that the Asian American Small Business Association sponsored and participated in. It also includes a small amount of information about local businesses and organizations.

Related Materials

Krueger, Robert W. Photograph Collection

Subject Headings

  • Asian American Businesspeople — Illinois — Chicago
  • Community Development, Urban — Illinois — Chicago.
  • Uptown (Chicago, Ill.)

Container List

Series 1: Administrative and Historical Files, 1990-2001

Box 1 Folder 22 Argyle Street Business and Dining Directory, 1993
Box 1 Folder 2 Asian American Small Business Association annual reports, 1990-1998
Box 1 Folder 23 Chinese American Chamber of Commerce and Professions newsletter, 1994
Box 1 Folder 7 News clippings, 1991-1997
Box 1 Folder 1 Soo, Charlie biographies and obituaries, 1992-2001
Box 1 Folder 3 Uptown and Argyle Street news clippings, programs, and newsletters, 1991-1993

Series 2: Correspondence and Ephemera, 1990-1999

Box 1 Folder 25 Bush/Quayle campaign fliers, 1992
Box 1 Folder 5 Krueger, Robert and Marion, letters and related material, 1991- 1996
Box 2 Folder 1 Krueger, Robert and Marion, letters and related material, 1995-1997
Box 2 Folder 2 Krueger, Robert and Marion, letters and related material, 1997-1999
Box 1 Folder 29 Lai, Grace letters, articles, cards, copies of photograph, and other material, 1990-1992
Box 1 Folder 26 Osterman, Kathy funeral program, 1992
Box 1 Folder 4 Smith, Alderman Mary Ann (48th ward), letters and related material, 1991-1993

Series 3: Events and Local Businesses, 1990-1996

Box 1 Folder 8 Argyle Fest fliers and invitations, 1991-1994
Box 1 Folder 9 Asian/Pacific Heritage Month invitations, 1992-1995
Box 1 Folder 27 "Business and Community Service Working Together" luncheon flier and program, 1995
Box 1 Folder 21 Chicago Transit Authority Argyle station pagoda news clipping and press release, 1991
Box 1 Folder 10 Chinese New Year news clippings, invitations, and press releases, 1992-1996
Box 1 Folder 28 City of Chicago Inauguration of Richard M. Daley, program, 1995
Box 1 Folder 14 City Colleges' "Acquiring Cultural Knowledge" program press release and letters, 1992
Box 1 Folder 24 "Ethnic Chicago" material on Argyle Street by Rich Lindberg, including press releases and letters, 1992-1993
Box 1 Folder 15 Foreign journalist visit news clippings, letters, and report, 1993
Box 1 Folder 6 Local businesses and organizations, letters and press releases, 1993-1995
Box 1 Folder 12 Milwaukee delegation visit press releases, news clippings, and letters, 1991
Box 1 Folder 16 Minority Enterprise Development Week celebration flier, 1994
Box 1 Folder 18 New Asia Bank press releases, 1992
Box 1 Folder 13 Sister Cities Neighborhood Walking Tour flier, letter, and agenda, 1991
Box 1 Folder 11 Small Business Development Seminar fliers, news clippings, and press releases, 1990-1995
Box 1 Folder 19 Sun Wah Bar-B-Q Restaurant press release, 1994
Box 1 Folder 17 Truman College, "Bridging the Cultural Gap" seminar flier, 1995
Box 1 Folder 20 Vietnam Museum flier, undated
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