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Women's Business Owners Stand by Health Insurance but Cut Back on Coverage

 A fresh survey of over 1500 women's businesses shows that they will hold on to their health care insurance as a key means of retaining employees, even though they are already cutting back to cope with rising costs. To speak to Linda Denny, President and CEO of the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) on how women's businesses impact the nation's health care direction, contact Lynthia Romney at 914-238-2145, or respond to this email:

Washington, DC – July 29, 2009 –Women's business enterprises are holding on to healthcare insurance for their employees but are being forced to cut back on coverage in the face of rising health care costs. This is the finding of a survey of over 1,500 women's business enterprises (WBEs) certified by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the nation's leading advocate for and authority on women's businesses. 

One third (34 percent) of those surveyed said that proposed legislation to levy an 8% penalty on small businesses that do not offer health care insurance, would force them to reduce payroll or the number of their employees. While a majority, 56 percent, of women's businesses said that they would not be affected by this legislation because they already offer health insurance, 69 percent of that group is offering less coverage because of the rising costs of health care. 

Some women (17 percent) are taking creative approaches to compensate for reduced health care coverage: half of them are providing flex time, and one-quarter are offering more vacation. 

The survey shows that health care remains a human relations priority for women's businesses: 59 percent of the women's businesses said that health care was very or extremely important in hiring and retaining their employees. 

"Women's businesses are major employers in this economy – so when nearly 60 percent say that health care is extremely important – we know health care is critical to our nation's small businesses. We are looking forward to legislation that helps women small business owners not only better control their healthcare costs, but continue to position healthcare as a benefit that retains and increases jobs," said Linda Denny, President and CEO of WBENC. 

About WBENC: The Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is the leading advocate for, and authority on, Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs) as suppliers and vendors to the nation's corporations. Founded in 1997, WBENC is also the nation's leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with WBENC certification accepted by more than 1,000 corporations, representing America's most prestigious brands, as well as government entities at the state, local and Federal levels. Throughout the year, WBENC's RPOs provide opportunities for interactions between more than 250 member corporations and nearly 9,000 certified WBEs at business building events and other forums.. WBENC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks and accepts donations from corporations, foundations and individuals that support its mission and programs. For more information, please go to 

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