How Nevada’s business environment is empowering women (opinion) | nnbusinessview.com

How Nevada’s business environment is empowering women (opinion)

Michael Vallante

Special to the NNBV

Michael Vallante

The economy has not only rebounded, but economic empowerment for women is at historic heights. Women now make up 40 percent of new entrepreneurs in the United States, the highest percentage since 1996.

Nevada was recently named the No. 1 state where women-owned businesses have grown the most in the last decade.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created incentives across the nation for entrepreneurs to start or invest in their business. Women entrepreneurs in Nevada who have taken advantage of the thriving economy have seen their business grow — and it's paying off.

But much more can be done to ensure economic equality and prosperity for women entrepreneurs. That is why the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is focusing its contracting and business loan efforts to ensure women entrepreneurs have access to capital and business resources.

In the last year, the SBA has guaranteed more than $28 million in business capital to women-owned businesses in Nevada. Women are following their dreams, starting successful businesses and creating jobs.

A prime example is Dr. Eva Littman, who started her medical practice, Red Rock Fertility Center, in 2008. Red Rock Fertility Center provides treatment in the areas of in vitro fertilization, intrauterine insemination, egg donation, gestational carriers, and egg, embryo, and sperm freezing.

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In 2014, Dr. Littman received an SBA 504 loan for equipment, as well as the purchase and renovation of a 10,444-square-foot medical office and surgery center, which she opened in early 2016.

The new space provided Dr. Littman with more than 4,000 square feet of additional space and allowed the combination of the two interrelated businesses into a state-of-the-art facility. As a direct result, Dr. Littman was able to grow her staff to 32 employees.

In the next few years, Dr. Littman hopes to hire several additional employees and expand her existing operation with a satellite facility in a Nevada underserved market. Additionally, improved business conditions have allowed Dr. Littman to recently complete an overseas medical mission's trip to the Far East and the potential creation of a satellite operation in China.

Dr. Littman story is an inspiration to women entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business. Small business optimist is strong—reaching its third highest level on record since the National Federation of Independent Business began its survey 45 years ago. Nevada's economy is booming with the number of job openings surpassing the number of job seekers for the first time on record.

The SBA is committed to supporting women entrepreneurs and helping them chart their path forward. For example, the SBA Nevada Women Business Center provides free business education and training to support entrepreneurs.

SCORE partners provide business mentors that offer one-on-one support for entrepreneurs. SBA resource partners also provide the tools to receive women-owned business federal contracting certification so that they may compete in the federal market place, where more than $500 billion in contracts are awarded to small businesses every year.

The SBA will always be an ally for our nation's small businesses.

Michael Vallante is the Regional Administrator of SBA Region IX (serving Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii and Nevada). Go to http://www.sba.gov to learn more.