Quinn says new law to create diversity in business

Published 07/17 2013 04:54PM

Updated 07/17 2013 05:25PM

SPRINGFIELD -- Women and minorities could have a leg up in the business world. There's a new law encouraging the groups to compete. WCIA-3's Alexandrea Davis has more.

Some women say they're pleased with the plan. It's part of Governor Quinn's idea to make business opportunities available to everyone in the state. Jessica Jones and Cate Zappo know more than most about how challenging it can be to be a woman taking on a business start-up.

"As women, we're extremely hard workers and we, you know, are good, will be good business owners. We know what we're doing and, you know, we have to work a little bit harder sometimes, I think, to prove ourselves and to know people that we are capable and competent."

In less than six months, they've put their plan to open an upscale bar on paper, purchased property and are already constructing their dream.

"This has moved a lot more quickly than we expected and it's been a lot of hard work, but I think that, in the end, it's going to pay off."

Their lives are changing at a time when Governor Quinn is pushing for greater diversity. Quinn signed the new law to help women and minorities compete for state contracts and improve the economy. The partners say his push could offer greater incentives for them as they move forward.

"It's extremely important to have advocates for all groups, but particularly in our situation for women who are working in the business sector and trying to help you, you know, grow our community and create jobs."

Victoria Ringer, of Downtown Springfield, Inc., agrees. She's seen the number of female-business owners on Main Street grow.

"There's a lot of women in the marketplace now working that weren't working before, so I think they're incentivising (sic) them to start businesses that lend to the tax base as well."

Those women came up with the idea in February and hope to have things running by August.

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