A Beacon of Hope

With the help of small business, the economy will recover.

This past week I happened to be watching the local news here in Chicago when I came upon a segment about a local shoe designer, Kathryn Kerrigan and her new collection for spring.

It caught my attention because a year ago, I had the privilege of meeting Kerrigan for the feature article we did on Women in Small Business. She is the owner of Kathryn Kerrigan shoes, which offers stylish shoes for women with all shoe sizes.

What was even more impressive to me, was that Kerrigan just opened her first flagship location in the northern suburbs of Chicago and plans to open a second store in downtown Chicago in August.

In addition, her shoes appeared at New York Fashion Week in graeyny’s fall fashion show.

The reason that I am bringing this up is because I admire many of the people that I get to write about here at America’s Best. Even though we hear news every day about the state of the economy and unemployment rates, people like Kerrigan choose to keep going and to be optimistic. By her opening her flagship store and her second location to come, she is choosing to stand up as a small business owner and do something to help the economy in her own way.

Another example of this is Maria Otero. She is the founder of the Women’s Venture Fund and is featured in this issue. She left her job as an attorney to follow her entrepreneurial instinct and help low-income women to start small businesses in their communities. By fostering the entrepreneurial ventures of these women, she is helping them overcome poverty and they in turn are helping the economy by creating more jobs.

Then you have someone like Anthony Ayala. He defines success for himself as a small business owner as when he can afford to provide good insurance for his crew and get them a 401K. His main concern is to take care of his employees. Ayala was able to hire several employees who were without jobs because of layoffs.

These small business owners have found a way to stay optimistic even with all of the negative things we hear about the economy in the news every day. They did whatever it took, whether it be creating strategies to promote their business or changing their typical practices to make it work and continue to grow their businesses.

Be assured that with the help of small business, the economy will recover.

All the best,

Lynn Celmer

Managing Editor

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