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SBA Buffalo Celebrates Women's History Month

Release Date: 
Monday, March 12, 2012
Release Number: 
12-09
Advisory Date: 
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Contact: 
Kelly LoTempio

Agency’s Programs have a Positive Impact on Women Entrepreneurship

BUFFALO, NY---The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Buffalo District Director Franklin J. Sciortino likes to say that women are playing a central role in rebuilding the economy, especially here in Western New York.

 “There are 7.8 million women-owned businesses in America,” said Sciortino, “and over 7,000 women-owned businesses are situated in Western New York.  As we celebrate Women’s History Month, I like to think the SBA is doing its part by assisting women through our business loan, counseling, training and contracting programs.”

Sciortino likes to point to local women success stories like Kim Tomaszewski, a charter school teacher who left her job two years ago when a friend told her about a documentary of an elderly man helping his friend learn how to use the computer.  She followed her friends advice, sought training and assistance through the Canisius College Women’s Business Center and SCORE, Counselors to America’s small business and in 2009, opened The Net Cracker,  a small business offering seniors basic computer skills tutoring such as the internet, e-mail, how to open photos and connect with friends.

Another example of a local woman who possesses the entrepreneurial spirit is Kathleen Haggerty, owner of The Whole Hog.   A veteran, women-owned business, Kathleen started her business in October 2011 after meeting with professionals from the Buffalo State Small Business Development Center and SBA Buffalo district office.  Determined to own her own business and enter into a food truck enterprise, Kathleen persevered and has built a viable small business in an emerging market in Buffalo.  Read Kathleen’s story Food Truck Prevails in City of Good Neighbors.

“These are the stories of everyday entrepreneurial women, who have a passion for what they do,” said Sciortino. Their stories are an inspiration to us all and demonstrate how SBA’s programs and services have a positive impact on our local economy and can help the next generation of aspiring women business owners.”

Sciortino also noted that during the first five months of fiscal year 2012, his office approved a total of 45 loans to women-owned businesses for a total of $4.4 million.  In addition to providing women business owners with access to capital, the SBA funds over 90 Women Business Centers around the country, broadening the reach of business training and counseling to assist women to start, grow and expand their small businesses.  Locally, the WBC is located at Canisius College and tailors its services to meet the needs of the Western New York community.  The WBC works to provide women business owners with long-term training, counseling and mentoring, as well as access to all of the SBA’s programs and services.

To learn more and to seek assistance to start or expand your business, please contact the SBA Buffalo district office at (716) 551-4301 or visit our website at www.sba.gov/ny/buffalo.