Female entrepreneurs getting support from Women’s Business Center of Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — The pandemic has hit female entrepreneurs hard.

According to a survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, women-owned small businesses have been more heavily impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic than businesses owned by men, and female business owners are less likely to anticipate an optimistic recovery.

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The Salt Lake Chamber and Women’s Business Center of Utah have both been lifelines for small business owners who are established or just starting out.

Perhaps the biggest challenge —especially for new business owners—is securing the funding needed to start a business and keep it going during an economic downturn.

That’s where the Women’s Business Center has been able to step in and help with SBA loans, grants and other funding, free of charge.

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The organization also provides training for business owners to develop some of the crucial skills to make their businesses successful. Ann Marie Wallace, executive director of the Women’s Business Center, recommends one called “Grow Your Business.”

“We actually hired two additional business advisors, so anybody in the State of Utah can actually schedule a counseling session, advising session by Zoom right now for free as many times as you would want to have someone talk to about how to start your business or how to improve your business or how to pivot,” Wallace said.

WBC has also invested in technology. They have “incubators” at chambers of commerce across the state, where business owners can use laptops and WiFi.

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