Women business leaders sit down with Congressman Buchanan

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Nationally, Florida is ranked the 4th most populous state for women-owned businesses.  Friday, many of those women got an opportunity to discuss some of their concerns with Suncoast Congressman Buchanan.

According to recent statistics there is a rise in the number of women-led business, and many of them are right here in the Suncoast.

"My business is 30 year old.  It's an air condition and electrical business, named Air and Energy. We do pumping and electrical work all over Manatee County," said Trudy Moon.

And Trudy is part of a growing trend. The 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report shows women ran companies grew 1½ times the national average over the past 16 years.  And, Friday Trudy Moon and several other women CEO's got an opportunity to express some of the concerns about running their companies to Congressman Vern Buchanan.

"There's a lot of things going on today where there's some uncertainty, and I'm really looking forward to some certainty in the tax regulations," said Moon.

The panel of women touched on everything from the tax code to health care.  Many of them highlighting how the economic climate created by uncertainty on the federal level has affected their business. 

"Our struggle is growth," said Moon. And she adds that part of that growth is slowed by a lack of skilled employees in the area.  A concern reiterated over and over.

"Our concern is the ability to create jobs locally. I think that is so fundamental.  And, how can we hire a skilled labor force and how can we retain our employees by having more projects so that we can sustain employment," said Lee En Chung, the president and owner of Ivy Ventures Inc., a construction consulting firm located in Sarasota.

And, although many of the struggles highlighted at the event are faced by all business, Buchanan says it was important to get a different perspective. 

"At the end of the day its about creating more jobs here in Sarasota, Manatee County.  Unemployment is still 7 and half percent and were trying to get that under 5,  and a lot of women lead organizations can help in that process," said Buchanan.