Women-Owned Businesses Succeeding in Pottstown

Beverly’s Pastry Shop (at top) was among local women-owned businesses highlighted by Pottstown Area Economic Development’s Peggy Lee-Clark during a national policy briefing

Women-Owned Businesses Succeeding in Pottstown
Peggy Lee-Clark

POTTSTOWN PA – What determines whether, or how well, women- and minority-owned entrepreneurial businesses succeed and expand? The difference-makers are “environmental factors, establishing goals, and making connections,” Pottstown Area Economic Development executive director Peggy Lee-Clark told a national audience.

Lee-Clark was among three featured speakers during a virtual congressional policy briefing recently held by the Washington DC-based Women’s Congressional Policy Institute. It explored current challenges to women-owned businesses, and the role of women’s leadership in the economy.

Women-owned businesses that not only make it but thrive, in Lee-Clark’s observations, are those who have:

  • “The education and experiences, and the opportunity to be able to handle life pressures that come at them, and stay open,” (which she described as ‘environmental factors’);
  • The ability to set and strive toward goals. Winning entrepreneurs “have a dream,” but also are “able to think about what they are going to do once the ribbon-cutting is over,” she said; and
  • The ability to connect to others like themselves, as well as resources to help them prosper. In part, she noted, that’s a function of Pottstown Area Economic Development. “We hope people will find us so that we are able to make those connections” for them. “Those relationships help you establish, sustain, and grow.”

Pottstown and municipalities like it can further improve their economies, she noted, by working to increase the percentage of women-owned businesses within their boundaries; encouraging more venture capital funding for women business founders, which she said was “so important to innovation;” and generally help attract more business financing for women, particularly in an economy now hindered by higher costs of borrowing.

  • Watch a video (above) of Lee-Clark’s presentation, timed to start at her segment and her introduction to the audience by Montgomery County Rep. Madeleine Dean. It’s also available at the institute’s YouTube channel, here.

Pottstown’s current and future economic recovery, she said, relies on the growth of small businesses. Women entrepreneurs, she added, play an increasingly larger role in those gains. Pottstown’s 5.5-square miles, she said, includes nearly 30 women-owned businesses, and 15 community organizations led by women.

She mentioned by name and described several of the borough’s women-owned businesses, including Cedarville Engineering, Deliah and Dean Fresh Market, Beverly’s Pastry Shop, and Once Upon A Time Consignment Boutique.

Top photo from a video screenshot captured by The Post
Photo of Peggy Lee-Clark provided by PAED