Pandemic disproportionately impacted women-owned businesses

Posted at 6:51 AM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 08:51:24-05

It's no secret the pandemic has put businesses in a tough spot, especially after things shut down last spring.

Now, most places are back open and running (with some changes), but according to a report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, bouncing back has been a lot harder for women-owned businesses.

The report said of the female business owners they surveyed, only 47 percent ranked their businesses' overall health as "good." In comparison, 62 percent of male business owners said the same.

"It's something we all knew needed to be worked on, but it tends to hit the backburner," said Cori Larson, a local business owner who works to boost representation in business. "This shoved it back into the forefront."

The study reads in part:

Before the coronavirus pandemic began 67% of male-owned businesses ranked the overall health of their business as “good,” while fewer (60%) women-owned businesses said the same. But by July 2020, 62% of male-owned small businesses said their businesses was “good,” but just 47% (15 points less compared to male-owned) of female-owned businesses ranked the overall health of their business as “good.” This also represents a decline of 13 points for women-owned small businesses versus a small shift of only five points for male-owned businesses who see their businesses health as “good.”

Here in Idaho, local business owners like Doreen Marr say they've been able to find support through the Idaho Women's Business Center.

"We found 'oh my gosh we have so much in common as women studying business.' We help each other and are more powerful in a group. I feel like it's a really unique experience for me," Marr said.

Marr opened her business "Elie Promos" just this past year. Her business centers around supplying other small businesses with materials. She says before she came to the business center, it was just an idea.