How to Better Support Women-Owned Businesses

Animal Rights, Author and Activist Spotlight, Law, Suzanne Grandt

Up until the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, women-owned businesses were the fastest growing sector in the United States. They generated some $1.6 trillion in revenue and employed 9.4 million people.

When the pandemic swooped it swept away more than 50% of sales for 47% of female-owned enterprises. By comparison, 41% of male-owned businesses suffered similar setbacks.

Women-owned businesses will also likely take a longer time to recover for a variety of complex reasons. Whatever the case, there are a number of things individual consumers, government, creditors, and others can do to bolster women-owned businesses, including:

Streamlining Access to Capital

This is a good time to reevaluate our credit systems to ensure that women have access to working capital and funding. That could mean everything from banking and venture capital to government programs, such as the PPP and Small Business Administration grant programs. Bankers also need to back women and recognize the advantages women entrepreneurs bring to the marketplace.

Women Worker Attributes

Even in modern times, women still wear more hats than men. After all, women need to make babies and then have time to nurture them after they are born. It’s a fact that women still handle more domestic responsibilities than their male counterparts. These and other factors are attributes of female employees that must be taken into consideration both when hiring women and by those who would back them financially in business ventures.

Resources and Tax Codes

A report recently issued by Gusto revealed that 27% of women business owners claimed tax credits offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act – but 54% did not. Some did not take advantage of this resource because they did not have an employee that needed sick leave due to illness. However, one-fifth of respondents said they did not know about the program. Thus, women can help themselves by exploring all the options that are available to them. Government agencies that administer the programs should perform more outreach to bring aid to more women-owned businesses.

Networks for Women

Women need to take more power unto themselves by building networks of mutual support and cooperation in the business realm. Networking is a way to connect with sponsors, mentors, sources of capital, and strategic partnerships that can bolster entrepreneurial activities.

This article was originally published on SuzanneGrandt.com

Why You Should Buy Cage-Free Eggs

Animal Rights, Author and Activist Spotlight, Law, Suzanne Grandt

High in fat and protein, low in sugar and carbs, and a vital ingredient in a plethora of dishes in every culture on earth, eggs are a staple for a reason. Unfortunately, buying eggs today isn’t as simple as it used to be. Today’s eggs come with additional labels, like “free-range,’ “organic,” or “cage-free.” At the very least, everyone should be buying cage-free eggs over generic supermarket eggs. Here are three reasons why.

Why You Should Buy Cage-Free Eggs

It’s more humane

The cage-free designation means that the eggs come from hens that aren’t confined to cages. In traditional egg production, hens are crowded into battery cages, given just enough room to move their heads to eat. These hens are forced to live their entire lives laying and defecating right where they stand, which is unnatural and inhumane to the hen. On the contrary, a cage-free environment allows the hens to roam, mingle, scratch, perch, and build nests, all of which are natural parts of a chicken’s life.

There’s less risk of disease

Every once in a while, there seems to be a salmonella egg outbreak somewhere in the United States. This usually occurs in factory-produced eggs. Crowding hens into battery cages promotes unsanitary conditions, which in turn promotes disease, namely salmonella. In fact, salmonella is five times more likely to occur in battery cages compared to the cage-free system, according to the European Food Safety Authority.

Battery cage operations usually have more airborne fecal dust, insects, and rodents, all of which can exacerbate disease. In comparison, cage-free farming is cleaner and less stressful for the hen, promoting its overall health and immunity to illnesses. That, in turn, translates to disease-free eggs.

The eggs are healthier

Overall, healthy hens equal healthy eggs. A bird raised outside of a cage will have a better diet, fortifying its gut floral and boosting its immunity. The opportunity to participate in natural activities also leads to a happier bird, and happier birds lay eggs with strong shells, vibrant yolks, and complete nutrition. Some people are even able to taste the difference between a regular and cage-free egg, with the latter being reported to be more flavorful.

This article was originally published on SuzanneGrandt.org

The Best And Worst States For Working Moms

Law, Suzanne Grandt

Working moms have long faced challenges when it comes to balancing work and home life, as well as the high cost of childcare and the lack of equal pay. And some states have it better (or worse) than others. In a study conducted by WalletHub, the organization found that some states provide the best opportunities for working mothers- while other states simply fall flat.

WalletHub looked at multiple factors including the cost and quality of childcare, the gender pay gap, the median salary for a woman, the ratio of women to men working in executive roles, and the quality of parental leave in each state plus the District of Columbia.

Massachusetts has named the best state for working moms in 2021 (and Louisiana was named the worst). One reason that Massachusetts ranks in the number one spot is that they have a paid family leave program. Plus, in Massachusetts, women earn an average of 86 cents to a man’s dollar, which is a smaller gap than the national average of women earning 82 cents to a man’s dollar.

On the other hand, in Louisiana, women only earn about 74 cents to a man’s dollar (sadly, this state is not the state with the worst pay gap- that award goes to Mississippi). Plus, the state does not give paid family leave and they have a low amount of high-quality daycare centers.

Top 10 States For Working Moms:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Connecticut
  4. Vermont
  5. Minnesota
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Wisconsin
  8. New Jersey
  9. New York
  10. Washington

Kudos to those ten states for looking out for working moms! Here is how the rest of the country adds up:

  1. New Hampshire
  2. Virginia
  3. South Dakota
  4. Maryland
  5. Illinois
  6. Oregon
  7. Delaware
  8. Colorado
  9. North Dakota
  10. Maine
  11. Tennessee
  12. Iowa
  13. Montana
  14. Nebraska
  15. Hawaii
  16. Florida
  17. Indiana
  18. Utah
  19. Kentucky
  20. North Carolina
  21. Ohio
  22. Missouri
  23. Kansas
  24. Wyoming
  25. Pennsylvania
  26. Michigan
  27. Texas
  28. California
  29. Georgia
  30. Arizona
  31. Alaska

And here are the worst 10 states in the country in regards to taking care of their working moms:

  1. West Virginia
  2. Arkansas
  3. New Mexico
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Nevada
  6. South Carolina
  7. Mississippi
  8. Idaho
  9. Alabama
  10. Louisiana

This article was originally published on SuzanneGrandt.com

What to Know About Fostering Animals During the Pandemic

Animal Rights, Suzanne Grandt

Since the beginning of the pandemic, shelters have been overloaded with stray animals. One way to help is to offer to foster a cat or dog. Fosters take animals into their home until the animal is ready for adoption. This allows shelters to keep their doors open, as it frees up space for other animals that may be surrendered due to financial hardship during the pandemic. It also minimizes the amount of staff needed in order to successfully run the shelter in the time of Covid 19.

The foster to adopt model is also helping shelters during the pandemic. This model involves both foster families and shelter staff promoting foster animals for adoption. This way, the animal can be adopted directly from the foster, eliminating the need for the dog or cat to come back to the shelter environment to seek a family. Shelters can also arrange for the return of foster animals to happen in shifts so they are not overwhelmed by a large number of animals at once.

Fosters are expected to provide foster animals with safe homes with shelter, food, and clean water. Dogs should be provided with a suitable diet, poop bags, and food and water bowls. They should have a collar or harness on at all times; fosters should consult with the shelter to find one that fits appropriately. Dogs should not be left unsupervised unless safely crated in the confines of the foster home. They should always be on leash unless safely behind a fence, and they should not have interactions with other animals outside of the foster household unless approved by shelter staff.

Cats should always be kept indoors. When being transported, they should be in a safe and approved carrier. They should not be introduced to other pets inside or outside of the foster home unless the shelter staff has approved the meeting. Cats should be kept in a safe environment with plenty of human interaction. They should be given toys that promote play and exercise their predatory instincts. They should be provided with an adequate diet, freshwater, multiple litter boxes, and a place where they can safely scratch without fear of damage to their paws or the foster family’s furniture.

This article was originally published at SuzanneGrandt.org

The Top 5 Wealthiest Women in the World Today

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In the Forbes 2021 world billionaires list, there are 328 women, indicating a 36% increase compared to last year. These women come from various industries and different parts of the world. Here are the top 5 wealthiest women in the world and their net worth.

1. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers and family
After her mother died in 2017, Francoise inherited the giant cosmetic company L’Oreal. The 67-year-old has served on the company’s board since 1997. According to https://financesonline.com/top-10-richest-women-in-the-world/, despite being the heiress to the giant skincare products company, the France citizen is also an accomplished author of Greek mythology works and literature. Bettencourt Meyers has a net worth of $73.6 billion.

2. Alice Walton
Despite losing her spot as the world’s richest woman to Meyers, the only daughter of the Walmart founder, Sam Walton, still managed to gain over $7 billion thanks to free delivery, which led to a 69% boost in online sales. In 2011, the 71-year-old opened the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Her net worth stands at $61.8 billion.

3. Mackenzie Scott
After her marriage to the Amazon founder Jeff Bezos ended in 2019, the 50-year-old donated almost $6 billion to 500 nonprofit groups across the United States by July 2020. According to https://cpp-luxury.com/top-10-richest-women-in-the-world-2021/, Scott received a 4% stake in the Amazon company as part of their divorce settlement. Mackenzie remarried Dan Jewett, a science teacher who joined her in the wealth giveaway pledge. She has a net worth of $53 billion.

4. Julia Flesher Koch and family
After the death of her husband David Koch in 2019, Julia Koch and her three children inherited 42% of the family business. Last year, Koch Industries were the largest private company in America. The 58-year-old plays an essential role in the company’s board of directors. She has a net worth of $46.4 billion.

5. Miriam Adelson
Miriam took over 56% stake of Las Vegas Sands casino operator after her husband, Sheldon Adelson, passed on in January 2021 at the age of 87. As a result of the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, the company recorded a net loss of $1.69 billion last year—lockdowns led to the closure of two Las Vegas casinos and resorts. The 75-year-old has a net worth of $38.2 billion.