Women make up more than half the work force, but are often paid less than their male counterparts. A similar discrepancy exists for women-owned small businesses.
Though it is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, women-owned businesses start with eight times less capital.
For that reason, on August 21, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Assemblymember Grace Meng announced a federal bill designed to extend targeted tax breaks for small businesses at the women-owned Great Bear Auto Repair and Auto Body Shop in Flushing.
“I’ve heard from women in Queens and all across the state. I know women are ready to lead us to a thriving and stable economy, with new, good-paying jobs that can support a family. When we provide the tools that small business leaders need, we can help this economic engine take off,” said Gillibrand.
According to the senator’s office, 10 million firms and 30 percent of all small businesses in the state are women-owned.
Standing alongside the repair shop’s owner, Audra Fordin, Gillibrand and Meng discussed their support for the SUCCESS Act of 2012. If passed, the legislation would extend small business tax benefits that expired at the start of this year, including eliminating capital gains tax on investments in small business and cutting taxes for businesses that invest in new equipment. It also would double existing deductions from $5,000 to $10,000 for new small business start-up costs.
The first woman to run her family’s business, Fordin said the tax extensions would give her needed breathing room, and allow her to upgrade equipment and divert resources towards staff.
The legislation would not only help Fordin’s auto body shop and other women-owned enterprises, but also its entire small-business sector.
“Small businesses have always been the engines of job creation and community development in Queens, and are moving us out of this grinding recession,” said congressional candidate Meng. “We’re already seeing more start-ups, more hiring, and more entrepreneurs striking out on their own. Nowhere is the growth of women-owned businesses more evident than here in New York State, New York City and in Queens.”