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Press Release

Women-owned businesses at TIA take off

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor Highlights Women’s Economic Agenda: When Women Succeed, America Succeeds

Tampa International Airport, August 11, 2014

Female entrepreneurs with products that target busy travelers in a pinch at TIA are taking off and landing business around the country. Today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-14) toured the expanding airport retail and the women behind these businesses to highlight the $1.4 trillion impact that all women-owned businesses across the country have on the economy and the middle-class.  

“These Tampa women have found a creative niche with travel-friendly products, demand is growing and I would like to help them succeed through workplace policies,” U.S. Rep. Castor said. “More women nationwide are choosing an entrepreneurial path, evident with the number of women startups on the rise. But imagine how many more jobs could be created by small businesses if we prioritized an economic agenda for women business owners that acknowledges the multiple roles that women play. When women succeed, America succeeds.” 

In 2014, there are more than 9.1 million women-owned businesses, up from 8.6 million in 2013, according to a 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report released in March 2014. The report also states that these businesses generate more than $1.4 trillion in revenues, employ 7.9 million people and account for 30 percent of all enterprises -- a boon for the middle-class. However, women’s market share of revenues is declining, according to a report released just last month by the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce.

"I appreciate the work that Congresswoman Castor is doing to identify the unique challenges facing women business owners," said Stellar Partners, Inc. CEO Susan Stackhouse, who operates several retail  stores at Tampa International Airport and about a dozen airports around the country. "We have a rapidly growing number of women entrepreneurs right here in the Tampa Bay community. It has been very rewarding for me to have the opportunity to work with many of these women and to be able to expose their products to a national audience by selling them in our stores at airports."

Stackhouse also mentors local women entrepreneurs, including Gina Almonte of Refresh-a-Baby; Dr. Kerriann Greenhalgh of KeriCure; and Carren Rieger of BambinOz. These women sell their products at Mindworks, located at the main terminal at TIA and owned and operated by Stackhouse. Refresh-a-Baby turns ordinary water bottles into baby bottles, KeriCure sells a natural alternative to bandages and BambinOz has steadily grown a line of products targeted for traveling parents of small children.

“These entrepreneurs have succeeded in their business pursuits, and as a result have achieved greater economic security for their families and created jobs locally to boost the middle-class economy in Tampa Bay,” U.S. Rep. Castor added. “It’s time to prioritize an economic agenda for women that fosters an equal playing field for all women across the country.” 

U.S. Rep. Castor has been on the forefront of building an agenda that addresses the economic challenges facing today’s women and working families, including expanding educational opportunities, increasing job training and investing in women entrepreneurs. U.S. Rep. Castor has also convened with businesses and female community leaders across Tampa Bay to discuss local solutions on pay equity, investing in early childhood education and expanding family and medical leave. 

Castor is a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act and Working Families Child Care Act that are all part of the “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds” economic agenda to bolster the middle class.