Over the past few decades, women have made great strides in business ownership. According to a report by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., only 4.6% of small businesses, those with 500 or fewer employees, were owned by women in 1972. Fast-forward to this year, that number has climbed to 36%, the February 2019 report stated. Josy Johnson, owner of A Beautiful California Florist, purchased her store from another woman business owner, whose daughter wound up joining Johnson’s shop as an employee. (Photograph by Brandon Richardson) Locally, this trend is especially visible in the East Village Arts District neighborhood of Downtown Long Beach, which boasts many women-owned businesses. “There is a group of mostly women business owners in the [East Village] who are all working together, as volunteers, to help promote the neighborhood,” the East Village Association’s vice president of business, Amy Stock, told the Business Journal. To promote local businesses, the group started an Instagram account with the handle @EastVillageArtsDistrict. On the account, Stock and her team share photos of storefronts as well as information on events, such as the Local Ladies Holiday Market featuring merchandise from three local women-owned businesses. Additionally, the East Village Association recently began holding quarterly meetings, aimed at connecting small businesses with resources offered by the City of Long Beach and the business improvement district, according to Stock. “It’s such a [prosperous] time right now for collaboration, not just in this neighborhood, but in this city,” Stock explained. And while there’s still room for the East Village to grow, she noted that its popularity is clearly on the rise. “The bones are so great here and the location is so great,” Stock said. “It’s harder to find retail space now, because so many businesses have been setting up and establishing their roots here.” On […]