Women-owned businesses get specialized help during COVID-19

Women-owned businesses get specialized help during COVID-19

Wyoming Women’s Business Center launches the COVID-19 Support Program after SBA awards grant dollars allocated from the federal CARES Act.

Laramie, WY (May 28, 2020) Wyoming Women’s Business Center (WWBC) is announcing the launch of its COVID-19 Support Program. It aims to help women-owned small businesses build or enhance their online presence, launch crowdfunding campaigns, and implement accounting software at no cost.

COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on women-owned industries. The 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report found that service businesses like hair salons, nail salons, and pet groomers make up 22% of all women-owned businesses. Healthcare and social assistance businesses like child daycare and home healthcare account for an additional 15%. Debbie Gorski, WWBC Executive Director, said, “We know our clients have urgent financial and marketing needs during this pandemic, and we’re gearing up to offer a variety of direct support projects for women-owned businesses across the state.”

B2B Digital Design Services is the flagship project of the COVID-19 Support Program. It will provide funding for creative and design service businesses to work with WWBC clients on professional photography, videography, graphic design, and website development. WWBC clients will be matched with local or regional small business vendors to create all the necessary elements required to enhance their existing online presence or develop a new e-commerce website. Christine Langley, COVID-19 Director, said, “I want to hire Wyoming small businesses to help our clients survive and thrive online during this pandemic and beyond.”

A “Call for Digital Artists” will be announced in early June. “Any small business or freelancer in the state that offers creative and design services can apply to become an approved vendor and listed on our website,” says Veronica Donahue, COVID-19 Facilitator. WWBC will contract with approved vendors to provide services to their clients.

In coordination with The Local Crowd (TLC), a Wyoming based online crowdfunding platform, WWBC clients can also receive free software access and one-on-one counseling to launch campaigns that raise money for their business. “I want the process of creating and promoting a crowdfunding campaign to be simple and successful for our women-owned businesses,” says Jessica Brauer, COVID-19 Marketing Counselor.

The importance of maintaining accurate financials has intensified for small businesses as they cope with reduced income while trying to secure lines of credit, federal loans, and financial assistance. Another project of the COVID-19 Support Program will offer complimentary access to QuickBooks® online software for one-year to qualifying clients. WWBC will also provide free one-on-one counseling to help women-owned businesses master the software and learn bookkeeping best practices. “I want to reduce the stress of our clients by helping to automate a lot of the bookkeeping work in their business,” says Derek Campbell, CPA, COVID-19 QuickBooks® Advisor.

Women-owned businesses impacted by COVID-19 are encouraged to contact WWBC and register as a client by completing a simple one-page application.

About Wyoming Women’s Business Center

WWBC was founded in 1999 and is a 501(c)(3) private non-profit in Laramie, Wyoming. They strive to enable and empower Wyoming entrepreneurs statewide, especially women who are economically or socially disadvantaged, through various economic development programs. Small businesses are encouraged to take advantage of all the services offered by WWBC including, business counseling, training, microloan financing, matched savings accounts, and an artist development program managed through the Works of Wyoming gift shop and ArtConnect Gallery in downtown Laramie.

Connect with WWBC at www.wyomingwomen.org or Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube.