Director’s Message: Celebrating Women-Owned Businesses


In honor of Women’s History Month, the Office of Economic Vitality (OEV) recognizes the many women-owned businesses here in our community. We celebrate the accomplishments of women and women-owned businesses, and I am excited to share their stories of doing business right here in Tallahassee-Leon County. I love what Barbara Wescott, Founder of Women Wednesdays, declares at the end of her meetings: “Let’s make  Tallahassee as the number one place for women business owners!”  At last count, just under 40% of entrepreneurs in our community were women. That is an amazing statistic and I look forward to seeing that percentage continue to rise.

For example, I had the pleasure of attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony of Impact Food Services, founded by Sha’Ron James. The self-service micro grocery kiosk with healthy food options is the first of its kind in Tallahassee and is a needed source in our community. This business venture also addresses food insecurity and access issues by donating excess foods to families in need. I look forward to the success of this social impact start-up. 

I would also like to congratulate Gloria Pugh, AMWAT Moving Warehousing Storage owner, and Minority, Women, and Small Business Enterprise (MWSBE) Citizen Advisory Committee Vice-Chair, for being elected president of the Professional Movers Association of Florida, the first woman president in the association’s 42-year history.

Women and women-owned businesses are making a huge impact in the community. Let’s keep investing in them. If you’re a women-owned business in Tallahassee-Leon County that would like to be featured on our social media pages this month for Women’s History Month, please email our office at

Remember to Love Your Local and Stay Healthy Tallahassee,

Cristina Paredes, Director 

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