COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- In honor of Women's International Day, KRDO is highlighting one local woman-owned business.
According to the Chamber of Commerce, there are more than 20,000 women-owned businesses in El Paso County.
Jessica Fierro is the owner of Atrevida Beer Co., a local brewery in Colorado Springs. As a female brewer, she's faced several challenges, but during the pandemic, those challenges almost doubled.
Atrevida Beer Co. entered its third year of business when the pandemic hit. Fierro says they saw an 80% to 85 % decrease in revenue compared to 2019.
Cecilia Harry, the Chief Economic Officer with the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, says it's been a difficult year for most local businesses in the area, but even more challenging for women-owned businesses.
“Data shows it has been double challenging for women-owned businesses because a lot of them are very small firms and in these small firms the owner is very involved in the day-to-day operations,” added Harry.
That's true in Fierro's case. During the pandemic, losing revenue led her to other alternatives, like putting her brewery online and adjusting to her customer's needs.
Moreover, according to the Chamber of Commerce, in El Paso County, data shows women are re-entering the workforce at a much slower rate than males during this time.
Harry believes this is because of child care, accessibility to child-care, and the need to adjust remote learning for children.
Despite their struggles, one message is clear.
“No matter their gender, no matter their background, no matter what neighborhood they grew up in, it is so important for them to see people that look like them thriving in this region, doing what they like to do," added Harry.
The Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center says despite the struggles, women are still thriving in starting their own businesses, saying they've actually seen an increase.
For programs or resources that help women entrepreneurs, click here.