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Local Business Owners Celebrate Natl. Women's Entrepreneurship Day

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News at 10) - "I started a weight loss journey many years ago. My problem was a difference in the foods and I didn't know what almond flour was. I didn't know how to use it. I didn't know what kind to use. I just knew it was expensive and out of budget. So I put it on the back burner," said Christina Sweet, Owner of The Main Ingredient. Friday, November 19th is Women's Entrepreneurship Day. Sweet, a proud local entrepreneur, recalled that one of her greatest weaknesses would someday become her driving force.

"If I feel this way, everybody else must feel this way. It's very hard, you know. And so, I decided to do something about it," she said. She proudly owns The Main Ingredient in Lutz. "We're a specialty grocery store but we also cater to people who have allergies and food issues. When you come in, you can come in with your recipes and you can get just what you need for that recipe. It's a cup of this and a tablespoon of that."

But she wasn't alone in her process. Early on, she partnered up and said it helped her get to where she is.

"The SBDC and the other one is the Working Women of Tampa Bay. These women are my tribe. I'm here today because of them, because of their support," said Sweet.

In the U.S., 31% of all small business or franchise owners are women according to the Small Business Trends survey. Something Sweet says isn't easy.

"You have your ups, you have your downs so how are you going to get past that? Especially with small businesses being consumed by corporate," she added.

Last year, the Tampa Bay region ranked among the top places in the nation for female entrepreneurs with roughly 20% of women-owned businesses, according to SmartAsset.

"Make sure that you have the time in your life because it is more time consuming than I think a lot of entrepreneurs really realize," said Sweet. "We're very blessed. We're very well received from the community."

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