Officials from the U.S. Small Business Administration paid a visit Thursday morning to two women-owned businesses in Lancaster: A&E Audiology and Hearing Aid Center at 2160 Noll Drive, owned by Dr. Kamal Elliot, and Sophie Stargazer Boutique at 149 E. King St., owned by Kristin Snyder.
In honor of Women’s History Month, SBA’s Eastern Pennsylvania Director Tony Leta is encouraging customers to shop at women-owned small businesses.He was joined by Gerard L. Glenn, board chairman of SCORE, and Lydia Walker, director of the Women’s Business Center at Community First Fund.
“We are encouraging everyone to ‘shop small’ with women-owned small businesses,” Leta said in a news release. “That means spending your time and money close to home and supporting your neighborhood small businesses.”
SBA partner SCORE helped Elliot open her first location in 2001 and continued to be a resource as the business grew, Leta said. A&E now has three locations and 20 employees in Lancaster, Lititz and Willow Street.It’s also won a variety of awards, including the National SCORE Award for Outstanding Woman-owned Small Business in 2014.
Snyder also worked with SCORE to finalize her business plan before turning to Community First Fund for an SBA loan to open her boutique, Leta noted.
To encourage women-owned entrepreneurship, SBA and Microsoft recently launched InnovateHER, a program that partners with Women’s Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers, SCORE chapters, accelerators, incubators, and other organizations, Leta said.