Reporter: Ellie Mahan
October 13, 2021
October is National Women’s Small Business Month, a time to advocate for gender equality in the workforce in general and a time to support our local businesswomen who have worked hard to make a name for themselves in our small town.
A study by The Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor showed that approximately 79,457,808 women were in the labor force in 2019, compared to the 8,179,017 women who were in the labor force in 1920. In 2019, 47.4% of the workforce were women, more than double the share of women in the workforce in 1920.
According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, More than 11.6 million businesses are owned by women, employing almost 9 million people and generating $1.7 trillion in sales as of 2017.
In general, locally owned businesses overcame numerous obstacles in 2020. Some were shut down for a length of time, but many picked back up and persisted. Some Whitney businesses were formed during the pandemic. The number of certificates of occupancy for new businesses has actually increased by roughly 15% this year, according to Chris Bentley, City Administrator and Chief of Police.
At least 15 of the businesses in Whitney are owned and operated by women. As of July, 12 out of the 16 active leaders in the Whitney Business Alliance were women, meaning women encompassed 75% of the organization.