Post recession, women made more connections

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Women-owned companies across the country are rebuilding after the Great Recession, with many using new marketing strategies to grow their business.

A recent study by Chase Card Services, the National Federation of Independent Business and the Center for Women’s Business Research found the 50 precent of the firms surveyed said they now use social media while only 4 percent used it before the recession.

The study, called “The Small Business: Lesson of the Recession,” was a telephone and online survey conducted between March 28 and April11, 2012. It polled a total of 760 business owners. Results were released in June.

The fact that many women-owned companies are small businesses likely gave them more flexibility during the economic downturn, said Debbie Simpson, president of Newport-based Multi-Craft Inc. Multi-Craft is one of the TriState’s largest women-owned business with roughly 50 employees.

“The smaller you are, the more agile you can be” said Simpson, also co-founder of the Women’s Initiative of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

The study also found that 39 percent of women-owned business increased their involvement during the recession in civic, social or school activities as a way to boost exposure for their business while giving back to the community. Simpson said that’s a common – and smart – strategy among the women business owners she knows.

“Involvement in the community is huge,” she said. “Getting business and retaining business is all about getting your name out there and making sure people know who you are and what you do.”

And she knows a bit about that. Simpson will become a volunteer chairwoman of the Northern Kentucky chamber’s board in 2013.