When we think of what we love most about St. Pete, the abundance and uniqueness of our many small businesses immediately come to mind. Our small businesses give us a stronger sense of place, community identity and local pride. They are the lifeblood of our city and an asset that sets us apart. Take a closer look at many of these beloved businesses and you’ll find that women are running the show. Brilliant, dedicated, fierce, fabulous women.
In the United States, there are an estimated 11.6 million women-owned businesses, making up about 40 percent of all businesses and employing more than 9 million people across our great nation. The Tampa Bay area has been recognized as a top market in the country for women-owned businesses, a key indicator of diversity and inclusivity in our regional economy. As the number of women-owned small businesses grows across the country and here at home, it’s important that we recognize the importance of that growth and continue encouraging them and removing barriers to success. In St. Petersburg, we understand that supporting and nurturing businesses owned by women leads to wealth creation, economic mobility, job creation and above all, empowerment. When women are empowered, families and communities are empowered, and we all win.
During this National Women’s Small Business Month and every day of the year, join me in celebrating and supporting our local women-owned businesses. Stop in and say hello to Leslie Ciccone at Swah-Rey, Lorielle Hollaway at Cultured Books, Meredith Rodgers at Sapphire Audio Visual Experts, Kelly Rodriguez at Lolita’s Wine Market, Heather Lachance at Made Possible Personal Training, and so many more. Thank these women. They are St. Pete.