HBD to the Women Owned Business Act

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September saw a slowdown in hiring as expected, but it’s not time to panic yet. The Women Owned Business Act has a birthday this month. And: if you’ve ever wondered what exactly constitutes a small business, read on!

Smallest companies see slowest hiring in September as demand for labor weakens

The private sector may have added more jobs to the economy than expected in September, but the latest economic data isn’t exactly rosy. Significantly weaker hiring at the end of the month and decreased demand in the manufacturing sector has economists convinced that the economy is in a “critical place.”

Guess who’s not that concerned: women small business owners. They seem to be feeling pretty good about the future.

The Number: 50. Companies with 50 or fewer employees saw the most significant decrease in September, hiring just 30,000 new employees. 

The Quote:  “We are in a very critical place, kind of a fragile juncture in the economy. What happens over the next few weeks, next few months, will determine whether there’s an economic downturn in 2020.”

Yeah, so what is a “Small Business,” anyway?

The term “small business” means different things to different people — and institutions. To the Small Business Administration, any company that makes less than $38.5 million in annual revenue or has less than 1,500 employees is a small business. (That really narrows things down!) Other organizations use different thresholds to classify companies and, in some contexts, the term “small business” has much more to do with the spirit of innovation and community engagement that a company espouses.

Just a little philosophy for a Wednesday afternoon …

The Number: 99.9%.  According to SBA guidelines, 99.9% of U.S. companies are “small” business. Turns out we all really are the 99%. 

The Quote: “But revenue and employee count are not the only ways to assess what is “small.” Increasingly, communities are talking about “small business” in terms of impact.”

Women Owned Business Act turns 31 this October

The U.S. Congress passed the Women Owned Business Act in 1988, allowing women entrepreneurs to secure business loans without a male relative cosigning for them for the first time. The legislation also created programs to foster female entrepreneurship and directed the Census Bureau to start collecting data. Today women account for 40% of all business owners and generate nearly $2 trillion in revenue. Happy Birthday!

The Number: 12.3 million. Women own 12.3 million businesses in the U.S., with the great majority of them being “small businesses”… whatever that means! 

The Quote: “Despite the incredible growth, we are still far from reaching gender parity.”

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