Largest Women-Owned Firms Going Strong
The expansion in the number of women-owned businesses with 100 or more employees, as well as those with $1 million or more in revenues, is outpacing the growth rate of all businesses of the same size, according to a new study from the Center for Women’s Business Research. The study, “Removing the Boundaries: The Continued Progress and Achievement of Women-Owned Enterprises,” takes an in-depth look at the characteristics of commercially active women-owned firms in the United States between December 1997 and December 2000.
The study found that the number of women-owned firms with 100 or more employees increased by 43.9 percent, which was 68 percent faster than all businesses breaking the 100-employee mark during the 1997 to 2000 period. The ranks of women-owned firms with 500 or more employees are expanding even faster, and the number of women-owned firms with revenues of $10 million or more grew by 36.8 percent, more than three times the rate of comparably-sized firms. These larger enterprises also are the fastest-growing segment of all women-owned businesses, according to the study. The number of all women-owned firms has been increasing from one-and-a-half to two times the rate of the national economy for the past decade.
Your Federal Tax Dollars at Work
Small non-farm businesses in Nevada are eligible to apply for low-interest loans to offset economic losses due to a drought beginning January 1, 2001. Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $1.5 million carry an interest rate of 4 percent and a maximum term of 30 years. Information and applications may be obtained by calling the Small Business Administration (SBA) at 800-488-5323. The application deadline is April 23, 2002.
Small businesses employing military reservists who were called to duty in response to the recent terrorist attacks may qualify for Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses may apply for loans of up to $1.5 million if they have been financially impacted due to the loss of a key employee. Further information is available at the toll-free number listed above.
Small technology companies looking for investment dollars can compete for a pool of research and development capital through the Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research (DoD SBIR) program. Companies with fewer than 500 employees may submit proposals from December 3, 2001 through January 16, 2002. They can receive up to $100,000 for a six-month effort to test the scientific and technical merit of the proposed concept; if this proves successful, they may be granted up to $750,000 to develop the concept to prototype stage. Each firm retains the intellectual property rights to its innovation. Further information is available at acq.osd.mil/sadbu/sbir.
Fighting the Post-Holiday Blahs
While many workers are focusing on what they need to accomplish before taking time off during the holiday season, their bosses may be thinking of ways to get them back on track once they return. In a recent survey, executives said it takes the average employee a day and a half to return to normal productivity levels following a vacation. The survey, developed by OfficeTeam, a national staffing firm, included responses from 150 executives with the nation’s largest companies. Liz Hughes, executive director of OfficeTeam, noted that getting organized before a vacation can minimize the time spent playing catch-up. She offers these tips:
1. Use “out-of-office” features. Before you leave, change voice- and e-mail greetings to indicate you are on vacation. This will prevent multiple messages from people inquiring why you haven’t replied to their earlier message.
2. Plan your first day back. The added structure will help you readjust.
3. Minimize chitchat. Colleagues are likely to stop by and ask about your holiday. Offer to provide more detail after work or during a lunch break. Focusing more on work and less on reliving your vacation will help you get up to speed more quickly.
4. Take an extra day. If your vacation includes out-of-town travel, resist the impulse to fly home Sunday night and return to work Monday morning, especially if you are changing time zones. Taking an extra day will enable you to catch up on errands, housework and sleep so you are better focused when you return to the office.
’Tis the Season…for Holiday Shopping
The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) provides the following interesting statistics about holiday shopping:
1. Most malls begin decorating for the holidays on November 1.
2. The holiday song played most frequently last year was “Jingle Bells,” followed by “White Christmas.”
3. The average amount of money spent by ICSC members to decorate for the holiday season was $20,413.
4. Santa Claus arrived in most malls on November 17.
5. The average number of pictures taken with Santa Claus per mall in 2000 was 10,250.
6. The average amount spent on gift certificates per mall last year was $689,524. The denomination of gift certificate most frequently sold was $25.
7. “Hot” toys for this season are predicted to be: Game Boys, Barbie dolls, GI Joes, Tonka Toys and products inspired by Lord of the Rings, Scooby Doo and Harry Potter.