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PR- 079-05
March 3, 2005


Commission on Women's Issues Celebrates 30th Anniversary, Launches Public Awareness Campaign and an online Guide for Families

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced today that 16 City small businesses which shape, serve and improve the lives of women will receive $140,000 in "NYC Small Business Awards" grants.  The awards were created by New York City Commission on Women's Issues and the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and are privately funded.  Mayor Bloomberg also marked the 30th Anniversary of the New York City Commission on Women's Issues by announcing the launch of a comprehensive public awareness campaign, "New York Loves Women," which will promote the opportunities and services available to women in New York City.  A user-friendly online Family Guide will also be made available by the New York City Commission on Women's Issues.  Joining Mayor Bloomberg in announcing the administration's commemoration of Women's History Month was Chair of the New York City Commission on Women's Issues Anne Sutherland Fuchs and New York City Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh. 

 "As we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Women's History Month and the 30th Anniversary of the New York City Commission on Women's Issues, it is important to recognize the efforts that our administration has made towards making New York, the City of Opportunity for all women," said Mayor Bloomberg.  "It is an honor to present these awards to businesses that have made exemplary contributions to the success of New York City women.  It is their ingenuity in entrepreneurship that makes New York City a global leader when it comes to doing business.  We are committed to continue to play a vital role in encouraging women to thrive both personally and professionally in this City."

The recipients of the "New York City Small Business Awards," were required to be in business for a minimum of two years, have fewer than 100 employees, demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit, have annual revenue not exceeding $2.5 million, and provide measurable benefits to the women of New York City.  The private underwriters of the grants include Federated Department Stores, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Deloitte & Touche LLP, Esteé Lauder, Jones Apparel Group, Tommy Hilfiger, VF Corporation, Women's Venture Fund, Kellwood, Health Plus, Kenneth Cole Productions and Meyer Corporation U.S.

"New York City women are the most dedicated and successful in the world," said Anne Sutherland Fuchs, Chair of the New York City Commission on Women's Issues.  "Women in New York meet the biggest challenges and hardships head on with their drive to succeed, and help make this City flourish with opportunity.  We are pleased to award those entrepreneurs who demonstrate strength, perseverance, and a dedication to benefiting women and giving back to the New York City community."

"Small businesses shoulder the lion's share of the City's economy, and the Mayor has made them a priority since his first day in office," said SBS Commissioner Robert W.  Walsh.  "The NYC Small Business Awards have been a remarkable success in highlighting the contributions these recipients make to women in business throughout the five boroughs, and I commend the New York City Commission on Women's Issues for spearheading such a great program."

The New York City Commission on Women's Issues' online Family Guide aims to be a comprehensive source on child care for families.  Drawing upon the expertise and knowledge of a variety of City agencies and organizations, this website includes information on health insurance, nutrition, tax credits, early intervention, and child care options ranging from locating services to child care subsidies and early education. The Commission created the Family Guide website as an easily accessible "one-stop shop" resource for information on raising a family in New York City.  It can be accessed through

The NYC Small Business Awardees include:

Jazz Women Inc. and its musical performing ensemble, the Kit McClure Band, were established in New York in 1982. The Band has toured with the legendary Cab Calloway and rock star Robert Palmer and has recorded four commercial CD's. Kit McClure owns Jazz Women, which has helped hundreds of women in NYC forge musical careers.

New Bein' Enterprises is a company that creates high-quality, natural hair care products and an array of hair jewelry for African-American hairstyles. A pioneer in the natural hair care industry, owner Nekhena Evans authored one of the first books on the subject of hairlocking. New Bein' also sponsors conferences and workshops that address self-esteem, personal care and mind/body health issues, and the different notions of beauty.

New Designs for Life provides training for employees on how to think like entrepreneurs. The company targets small businesses to reduce the time and expense of training staff. The owner of New Designs for Life, Malla Haridat, started her entrepreneurial pursuits in college running several small businesses. She also works with women entrepreneurs at Grace Institute, an organization that provides practical job training for economically disadvantaged women in New York.

Defran Systems is a technology company with a rich, 20-year history as a leading innovator in its field of developing specific management information systems.  Defran Systems' software applications target human service organizations that work in foster care, child welfare, and people living with HIV/AIDS.

Malia Mills is a company created by women and for women that makes and sells its own signature brand of swimwear. With its trademarked philosophy of "Love thy differences," Malia Mills aims to radically improve the swimwear experience for women.  Malia Mills has two flagship stores in New York City.

Superfine, a restaurant that includes an art gallery, began as an idea by three female artists at dinner party at their loft in DUMBO Brooklyn, to counter the ever-growing fast food mentality sweeping the nation. They soon went public, serving their food from the back kitchen of a 90-year-old local ironworkers bar. With great public response and community support, the women overcame incredible odds to design and build their own restaurant and bar.

The NYC Small Business Awards Runners-up include:

Alice's Tea Cup, LLC
Core Pilates NYC, Inc.
Eugenia Kim Inc.
Majestic Vending & Services, Inc.
Naturally Delicious
One Girl Cookies
Quist Industries, Ltd.
SMARTi Solutions
Lela Rose
Unique Comp, Inc.


Edward Skyler / Silvia Alvarez   (212) 788-2958

Ben Branham   (Small Business Services)
(212) 513-6318

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