by Yvonne DiVita <<< Yes, we are on Facebook, too!
The Republican convention starts today. Despite a hurricane threatening floods and outages, they will carry on as planned. Rightly so. It's an important part of the American process. I wish them better weather the rest of the week.
This election has put a spotlight on small business, the middle class, and women. All subjects dear to my heart. I'm not going to get into a political lecture or talk about why I'm voting for Obama. I do want to talk about the concept of small business and why women are more a part of the small business environment, than men. And why women have more of a stake in this election.
First of all, it's clear to economists and finance experts and anyone with a brain, that small business is the real foundation of American business. We employ more people. We spend more money on technology, supplies, etc. We carry our responsibility on our sleeve, like others carry their hearts on their sleeve - our business is who we are, many times. Small business needs more help now than ever before. Despite the promise of bank loans, most small businesses are still floundering in the need category... because banks want you to have plenty of capital and resources, before they will lend. Are you a startup? Don't go to a bank. They'll just smile, push your paperwork back at you and say, "Come back when you're more solvent." Hello?
Second, women are small business. I get a bit miffed at big brand magazines that cover the Top 100 women in business and ignore those of us out here working our fingers to the bone, in a small business. I get angry when top executive women forget their roots and go on TV cheering for their rich friends. I get annoyed when women in successful small businesses forget to congratulate themselves and cheer each other on. Ladies, whether you're a solopreneur or a small business owner with employees, you count just as much as any top level executive in the Fortune 500. Cause, you probably supply many of the items or services she needs to run her big business.
Third, as women business owners we need to be aware of and knowledgable about what's happening in the big, bad world. We need to own up to the issues around healthcare, women's wages, and whether or not a major crime like rape is being taken seriously. These are the top issues in today's political arena. How the candidates treat women IS important. How they 'think ' about women IS important. And, how the women they live with support other women, IS important.
We'll see a lot of smiling women on TV for the next few weeks. Women supporting one side or the other. Women who have (a) a job, (b) health insurance that covers pre-existing conditions, (c) supported other women by working to put and keep rapists in prision, (d) and who understand that many of the citizens in the U.S. who are on welfare are - elderly women and children, put there through no fault of their own. And, we'll see a lot of smiling women who ... just want to see the men in their lives ruling the world.
Yes, that's my opinion. Some women I see on TV, I will mention no names, live to make their men Kings. Their family is important to them... my family is not. What their husbands think is more important to them, than what anyone else thinks. And, they will throw the rest of us under a bus, if their husbands tell them to. Because... well, honestly, I don't know why they do it. But, they do.
As women, this is our time to make a difference. As small business owners, we must do what we can to keep our businesses up and running. It could mean banding together to make sure women's issues are being addressed this election. It could mean talking over the issues - politely - and making an informed decision. It could mean recognizing that women are still treated as second class citizens in the world of business, and deciding to change that.
If you're a small business owner, don't be swayed by rhetoric or promises you are wary of. Read, research, be sure to vote. Your input counts more than ever, this year. Do it for women and small businesses - do it for America. Without us, the country would, indeed, flounder and fall.