Women businesses soar state-wide, locally

Tony Parra

The state of New Mexico ranks seventh in the nation in women-owned business growth in 2002, according to research from the Center for Women’s Business Research.
Portales is no stranger to women-owned businesses with owners that include Trish Lovorn of the Hestand Floral, Pam Kratzer of Book Nook and Sheila Hays of Sheila’s Classy to Whimsy Ladies Apparel.
Hays opened her ladies apparel store next to the downtown square on Aug. 20.
“My business has been going good,” Hays said. “There was a need for it in Portales. We offer specialty items for women that women can’t get from department stores.”
Hays began the process in February and received a bank loan to open her business. The most troubling part of the business for her was finding a building.
“Location was important,” Hays said. “It took a while for me to find a building. Some of the buildings we found were in pretty bad shape. We had to remodel this building.”
Hays took the advice and help of another woman who owned her business for 32 years, according to Hays. Georgia Blackaby is former owner of Jeans by Jay in Portales.
“She’s a good friend of mine,” Hays said. “She gave me advice. Any advice she has was definitely worth listening to because she owned her business for such a long time.”
According to the study by the Center for Women’s Business Research, the nation’s fastest growth for women’s businesses are clustered in the Western U.S.
The study shows 6.8 percent of New Mexico’s business owners are women, compared to the national average of 5.7 percent.
Sandi Bergman used to own three radio stations in Portales, but decided to sell them in September of 2002. She started with two radio stations, KSEL AM and FM, in February of 1994 and in September of 1995 purchased a license for 107.5 FM.
“I’m the type of person who sets goals,” Bergman said. “We had our sales goals to meet. I knew what we had to do from month to month and I knew that if we didn’t achieve them we would lose our radio stations. There’s a lot of pressure because we have a lot personal assets invested.”
Bergman’s sale of the three radio stations didn’t mean she was no longer interested in owning a business. She believed it was time to move on and accept new challenges.
“I’m going to be a media broker and own a business called, mymediabroker.com,” Bergman said. “It’s a part of the (media) business that is dominated by men. It will be interesting and challenging.”
A media broker is somebody who helps to sell radio stations or television stations. A media broker can also help radio or television companies looking to expand their business. Bergman will be attending the National Association of Broadcasters radio show from Oct. 1 to 3 in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.