UTICA -- In Gov. Andrew Cuomo's state of the state address, he announced the certification of more than 2,000 minority and women owned businesses in New York state within the last 2 years.
The amount of Minority and Women Owned Enterprises (MWBE) participating in State contracts increased nearly 30 percent for the 2016-2017 Fiscal Year.
One MWBE business, Joette's Accessory Boutique in New Hartford, sells a variety of products such as jewelry, scarves, and hats and has been around for nearly 20 years.
Owner, Joette Swisher, says being a woman is just one challenge she has faced since starting her business.
She says she has seen a lot of good changes for woman business-owners over the years, including a shift towards equality for women.
"We're equal, we do great business," Swisher said. "Women are learning how to deal with all aspects, not just the pretty stuff. We're learning how to do book work and all the things you don't see in the back. You just see a pretty store, oh wow how nice. But they don't know what you have to go through to achieve success that's a big thing."
Joette says a key to starting a business is making sure the business caters to a large audience.