The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

Women-Owned Small Businesses – Certification and Success

Photo edited in Canva. From @thecozychiro, @burntonesculpt and @uticrews

Small businesses across New York and around the world have struggled to maintain support and flourish during a pandemic where many people cannot spare the extra change. Recently, the Small Business Administration has made changes to their certification process in order to help build and rebuild small, women-owned businesses.

Francesca Zumpano, owner of BurnToneSculpt Fitness studio in New Hartford, is not a federally owned small business but plans to be certified.

Zumpano was featured on WKTV on July 3 about her newly opened business that had barely lifted when the pandemic forced fitness related businesses to close. To reverse some of the dormitory effects of the virus, such as the lack of gym time, Zumpano offers in-person and live online classes as well as on-demand classes available on her website

“I received my DBA for my small business so I am certified as The Cozy Chiro,” said Junior Brooke Green, who is a Utica College student and owner of The Cozy Chiro. “The entire process takes just about a week, from filling out some paperwork, getting the money order and bringing everything to the county clerk’s office. I was surprised at how easy it was.” 

Green started this business to enhance her abilities in marketing and entrepreneurship as well as to have some spending money while she attends college. Green is certified to “Do Business Under Assumed Name” (DBA). This allows her to sell her merchandise without penalty from the state under the assumption that she adheres to the information on the DBA form. 

“I started this business as a way to make passive income while also being able to apply what I have learned in college,” Green said. “I am pursuing minors in entrepreneurship and marketing at Utica College, so I have been learning the skills needed to start and operate a business.”

Green hopes to have her own chiropractic office in the future but is using her experience selling cozy crocheted items while in college to learn more before advancing her career.

Morgan Mielnicki, the owner of Utica Crews, a small business that sells Utica branded merchandise, like Zumpano, is not certified. Mielnicki hopes to become certified for her business when life slows down.

“I designed a product for myself, on my own, that I didn’t realize would be so popular until I started wearing it in public,” Mielnicki said. “People would question me left and right where I got the crewneck sweatshirt so from there, I started selling them. It wasn’t a planned business but I’m happy it is so successful now.”

The Small Business Administration allows for easy application for the Women-Owned Small Business certification. The following steps summarize the process for eligibility:

  • Be a small business.
  • Be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by women who are U.S. citizens.
  • Have women manage day-to-day operations and also make long-term decisions.
Photo from

“To help provide a level playing field for women business owners, the government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the WOSB Federal Contracting Program,”  a statement from the Small Business Administration read.

The process to become certified in the SBA process is relatively simple and helpful for women-owned businesses because it offers support and more opportunities they may not have come otherwise. 

“If you have an idea, just go for it,” Mielnicki said. “I’ve never learned so much in the past year than I have by having to learn how to run a business, create relationships, run social media and figure out a website. Hands-on experience is the best experience.”

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