How a Record Number of Women Running for NYC Mayor is Giving Businesses Hope - Grit Daily

How a Record Number of Women Running for NYC Mayor is Giving Businesses Hope - Grit Daily


How a Record Number of Women Running for NYC Mayor is Giving Businesses Hope - Grit Daily

Posted: 22 Mar 2021 01:35 AM PDT

Though NYC has seen a diverse set of mayors govern the city over the last century, NYC has never elected a woman. Given the current political climate and the scandal with Andrew Cuomo, this may be the year that finally brings us a real change. As the amount of female-led companies and women entrepreneurs increases, some businesses are hoping a female NYC mayor can bring about the changes necessary to save NYC's economy.

Although primaries aren't until June and the election isn't due for another nine months, campaigns have already kicked off for the NYC mayoral race, with 40 individuals filing the necessary paperwork to become contenders. Among those 40, we count at least 12 women, which is a record for New York. You can find a full list of women running here.

In case anyone needs a recap: due to the pandemic, small businesses have suffered all around the country, including in NYC, where communities rely on these businesses for everything from jobs to entertainment. For women, the pandemic has been tougher, with women facing a million more job losses than men according to recent statistics.

Many entrepreneurs are hoping for an equitable way to recover their businesses as well as the economy. Some see a change in leadership as the necessary answer. Not just any leadership, but one that can empathize and bring fresh solutions to the table.

For other female-run businesses, seeing so many women in the running for a mayoral race is simply an inspiration. It is meaningful for everyone to see these glass ceilings shatter.

"I love seeing women running for mayor because any woman in power – or working to be in power – is a positive for other young women and girls. I looked up to women entrepreneurs before I became a founder, and I know others do as well," stated Lindsey Allard, Co-Founder & CEO of PlaybookUX.

The list of candidates is extensive, and although many businesses would like to see a woman elected as NYC mayor, to most, the right candidate is the one that can address their concerns on reopening, safety, childcare, healthcare, taxes, and actual issues.

Aysha Saeed, of the slow fashion brand for women AYSHA NY said, "I have spoken to some of the female mayoral candidates about the struggles and silver linings of being an entrepreneur in the city during COVID-19, and it is inspiring that we have so many women running. What I noticed is their collaborative spirit when it comes to speaking with entrepreneurs. They want to understand what our challenges are and how they can help. They realize that entrepreneurs are the backbone of NYC's economy, especially the fashion industry and Garment Center. Our area was hit so hard. Many independent brands were forced to move outside of NYC or some even had to shut down. So many factories and suppliers are struggling too due to lack of orders. While larger big box companies are cutting jobs and scaling back, small business owners continue to create new jobs and, without us, the economy becomes stagnant. From past conversations, it sounds like they want to bring more everyday voices like ours to the table to help create new policies that support us vs big corporations only."

"I'm super excited about how many women are running for the NYC mayor job and how they can push for more affordable childcare in the city. The average cost of a daycare in NYC is more than $2,200/month (according to real data on our site), and families in the city need more affordable options ASAP. The pandemic has only made the situation worse and many women are unable to go back to work due to a lack of options. We're hoping to see more subsidized care and more support for smaller home-based daycares that allow families more options," explained Dana Levin-Robinson, CEO of AllUpFront daycare.

Candidates for NYC mayor range from liberal incumbents like Maya Wiley, a professor of urban policy at The New School and a former attorney, to Republican Cleopatra Fitzgerald, to real-housewives star Barbara Kavovit. The women represent different political parties and hold a variety of positions as business owners, politicians, and lawyers. Some campaigns are considered more serious than others, as with any election. What this range of candidates does give us is a fresh look at women politicians. It gives us a range of choices. Each candidate has their own ideas, background, and supporters. Sometimes when we think of women politicians we have a limited view. Though there's no shortage of them in the United States, there is a certain pressure on female politicians to cater specifically to women's issues to gather votes. What we're seeing currently in NYC is a list of female candidates who are so different that it humanizes the idea of women as politicians. With this range of beliefs and agendas, voters can feel like they're supporting the politician, rather than a gender-binary norm.

According to Blaire Brown, Brand Strategist, at blairebrown.com, "Having an increased amount of women running for office will build up female empowerment initiatives across the board. As a female entrepreneur myself that specializes in helping women business owners with their marketing strategies, I predict that there will be a major  increase in women working towards becoming self-employed, and starting their own businesses. Seeing a woman in office, even just running for office, opens up the eyes of women– both young and old –that they too can take risks and follow their dreams. We live in an incredible time that women are unstoppable, and seeing more women running for office reaffirms this."

40% of Small Business Owners Are Having Trouble Filling Job Openings. Here's Why. | Hannah Cox - Foundation for Economic Education

Posted: 20 Mar 2021 06:52 AM PDT

A whopping 40 percent of small business owners were unable to fill job openings last month—a seven-point increase from January.

This finding comes from a new report by the NFIB (a small business advocacy group). The inability to fill jobs comes in spite of the fact that 25 percent of small businesses increased compensation during the same time period, the report finds.

Employers are feeling the crunch, with 24 percent claiming labor quality as their top business problem. Another 51 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they sought to fill, a statistic made all the more troubling as economists predict millions of new jobs by the end of the year.

These findings are quite shocking given the current unemployment numbers in the country, which hover somewhere between 10 million and 18 million out of work (the government doesn't exactly know). That's a significant margin, but one that still shows there are plenty of people who should be knocking down the doors of business owners right now seeking employment.

So, where are the workers?

There are several factors that could influence the hesitation to return to the office. The long-delayed reopening of schools has placed a tremendous burden on families. The lack of childcare has been especially harmful for working women. Globally, women have lost their jobs during the pandemic at a rate 1.8 times greater than men and are unlikely to return to work until childcare is available.

Others, particularly those with pre-existing health conditions, may be fearful about resuming daily activities.

But all things considered, the federal government's increase and extension of jobless benefits is likely playing an outsized role in the decision many Americans are making to stay home.

Prior to the pandemic, the average person on unemployment received $378 a week, and most states offered these benefits for a period of 26 weeks or less. But in response to the lockdowns (that the government itself implemented), Congress began passing "relief" packages in 2020 that vastly expanded those numbers.

At the height of the pandemic, individuals were paid $600 a week by the federal government, giving the average collector a weekly rate of $978 for an extended period of 39 weeks.

The country is clearly on the other side of the crisis. Millions are being vaccinated, case numbers and hospitalizations are both down, and we now know the disease is not nearly as deadly as we once feared. If anything, workers should be encouraged to return to the market and begin the process of rebuilding our economy. Unfortunately, Congress went in the opposite direction last week passing a new "stimulus package" that renewed and extended unemployment benefits.

Under the new legislation, out-of-work Americans can collect benefits through September of this year (depending on the program) and will receive between $300-$400 additional federal dollars per week.

All of these increases have created an environment where many on unemployment receive more money to stay home than they ever earned in the workplace, creating an obvious incentive for people to stay on unemployment.

At the beginning of the pandemic, we at FEE warned that the government's response could end up being more harmful than the disease itself. And the inability to attract workers back to the market is just one of many examples of that forecast coming true. It's an outcome made all the more infuriating by its obvious predictability: if you pay people more to sit at home than they can earn otherwise, obviously some will choose to not work.

Ironically, we have seen the government's response to unemployment actually create prolonged unemployment. This is a poignant example of what happens when policymakers focus on the "seen" but overlook the "unseen" secondary effects, a critique first identified by French economist Frederic Bastiat.

"A law produces not only one effect, but a series of effects," Bastiat wrote. "Of these effects, the first alone is immediate; it appears simultaneously with its cause; it is seen. The other effects emerge only subsequently; they are not seen."

"There is only one difference between a good economist and a bad one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those which must be foreseen," he concluded.

Modern-day economists refer to such "unseen" effects as unintended consequences.

The government's response to the coronavirus has created many unintended consequences, including the employment dysfunction discussed above. Politicians may have viewed the increase in benefits as a benevolent act that would ensure those pushed out of work by government lockdowns kept their standard of living and avoided poverty. That was the "seen" effect of the program. But there were many economics-informed voices who foresaw the unseen and harmful effects of such interventions all along, predicting that these benefits would stall the economy and slow the return to normalcy.

If you pay people more to sit at home than they can earn otherwise, obviously some will choose to not work.

In a statement on the most recent stimulus package, President Biden said, "This legislation is about giving the backbone of this nation – the essential workers, the working people who built this country, the people who keep this country going – a fighting chance."

That may be the intention. But the actual effect is to foster dependency and discourage work.

That's not giving Americans a fighting chance. It's setting them up to lose.

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