National Women’s Small Business Month

October has been proclaimed National Women’s Small Business Month, and Affordable Striping & Sealing would like to join in the celebration. Small businesses have always been the backbone of the American economy, but just a half-century ago, the overwhelming majority of owners were men. In 1972, only 4.6% of all American businesses were owned by women. Much progress has been made since then; in 2019, businesses owned by women accounted for 42% of the total, and half of those were owned by Black women. Today, almost 13 million businesses are owned by women, and these businesses generate approximately $1.9 trillion in revenue and provide employment for 9.4 million people.

Although the statistics are encouraging, they should not be interpreted as an indication that there is no more work to be done. Native Americans, for example, represent only 1.4% of the businesses owned by women in the United States, and only 0.3% of the nation’s women-owned businesses are owned by Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders. Furthermore, while the number of women-owned construction firms has almost doubled since 2007, they still account for just 13% of the total.

Shonda Decker, who founded Affordable Striping & Sealing in 2005, remembers that there were few women-owned asphalt maintenance companies when she launched her business. Through hard work, integrity, and the willingness to go the extra mile for her customers, she has earned the loyalty of her customers, the respect of her peers, and the loyalty of her team members. Shonda is proof that women can succeed in fields that were once overwhelmingly dominated by men. She is passionate about encouraging other women to follow their dreams and shatter any glass ceilings they might encounter along the way. She recommends that successful women entrepreneurs consider mentoring other women or volunteering with nonprofit organizations in their communities that support and encourage women in business.

Even the online presence of successful women business owners can make a difference. Their own visibility can inspire others to launch their own businesses by demonstrating that success is possible. Join national organizations as well as local groups, then participate online and at in-person meetings and conferences. Some groups to consider are the National Association of Women Business Owners, the National Women’s Business Council, and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. Even though it is not women-specific, you might want to consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce.

If you want to show your support for women-owned small businesses, there are three ways that you can do so. The first way is to purchase the services and goods you need from women-owned businesses. The second way is to donate to or raise funds for nonprofit organizations that help women improve their financial situations. Although you should check out every charity prior to donating, the Center for Women & Enterprise, Nontraditional Employment for Women, and Dress for Success are three organizations that you might want to consider. The third way you can help is to invest in small businesses owned by women. Kiva is one organization with a global reach that offers individuals an opportunity to make microloans to female entrepreneurs. You could also make a direct investment in a business owned by a woman.

If you are interested in supporting a business owned by a woman and need maintenance for your asphalt parking lot, contact Shonda at Affordable Striping & Sealing. The company provides asphalt sealcoating, parking lot striping and pavement marking, traffic sign installation, parking lot design, road markings, asphalt crack repairs, and bumper block installations. You can use the online form to submit your information or call 702-222-9009.