Every October, the Whidbey News-Times recognizes and celebrates National Women in Business Month.
And for very good reason. Women-led and -owned businesses play a key role in keeping our community vital and strong.
Despite the economic difficulties of recent years, the National Women’s Business Council reported that women-owned businesses performed just as well as men-owned businesses between 2007 and 2010.
Throughout the recession, according to the NWBC, women-owned businesses were active in the largest industries and led a greater percentage of firms making more than $1 million per year in retail and wholesale trade, manufacturing and construction.
As of 2013, it’s estimated that there are more than 8.6 million businesses that are owned by women in the United States. Those businesses account for about $1.3 trillion in revenues and employ nearly 7.8 million people.
Between 1997 and 2013, according to a report by American Express, the number of women-owned businesses in this country increased by 59 percent. That’s a rate 1.5 times higher than the national average of men and women combined.
Between 1997 and 2013, the number of women-owned firms in Washington state increased from 123,042 to 153,200 — that’s a 39.9 percent increase during that time period.
Washington state ranks 32nd in the number of firms owned by women, 22nd in growth in firm revenues and 28th in combined economic clout rank, according to American Express’ report.
This is some serious clout, and these are numbers that command attention, not to mention respect.
Starting on page 10 of today’s edition, you’ll find just some of the many women- led and owned businesses that help to keep our local community vital and strong.
This Women in Business section not only recognizes their success as women-owned businesses, but also their investment into the female business community through such things as volunteerism, mentoring, cause-related support benefiting women, and more.
Join us in celebrating these and all women in business.