How many businesses in your community have had to shut their doors because of the pandemic?
How many of those now-closed businesses were owned and operated by women?
Many small business owners, especially women, are feeling the effects of today’s new economy. Between unemployment and underemployment, we’re all just trying to stay afloat.
But there are several ways we can show our support and keep our favorite brands in business.
The Current Economy
At the beginning of the year, there were nearly 13 million women-owned businesses in the United States. These companies provided more than 9 million jobs and generated almost $2 trillion in revenue.
However, the end of the year could look very different.
According to the US Chamber of Commerce, small women-owned businesses have been hit especially hard since the pandemic began. In fact, 90% of women- and minority-owned companies were denied PPP loans to assist them financially during the pandemic. The optimism that these female entrepreneurs had for the future has plummeted, and with good reason.
Between February and April 2020, the number of active US business owners dropped by 22%. Women-owned businesses accounted for 25% of those losses. We don’t know how next year will look, but you can do your part to support the businesses you love and keep them thriving for years to come.
How You Can Help
Here are some ideas for how you can support women-owned businesses:
- Buy women-owned products and services.
Make a conscious effort to purchase from women-owned businesses. There are great resources available to help you search women-owned businesses specifically to find whatever it is you need.
- Raise awareness.
Social media is great for spreading the word! Tag your favorite women-owned company and use the #BuyWomenOwned hashtag to highlight them on your most-active platform.
- Reach out.
Contact your female friends or colleagues who own businesses and ask how you can help. Whether you’re making an introduction, shooting some business their way, or helping them network, making yourself available and letting them know they have your support could be just what they need right now.
- Become a mentor.
Sharing knowledge to help someone along their path to success is not only rewarding, but also pays forward the debt of those who helped or inspired you in your journey. A little bit of your time means a great deal to those who need advice.
- Educate yourself.
There are many resources out there that can teach you how to support businesses during crucial times. Explore websites that highlight female entrepreneurs and international opportunities for women to learn more.
As we all struggle with whatever the new normal is in the moment, it’s crucial to have each other to listen, lend a helping hand, and show empathy. Right now, everyone is struggling to some extent, and some more so than others. By reaching out, educating ourselves, being available, and spreading the word, we can help support our economy and help women lead.