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Key Bank opens new doors for businesswomen

She also noted that there are between 500 and 600 women in the business council throughout Albany and Colonie.

Marri Aviza and Lisa Norgrove, business partners of Rumors Salon and Spa, located in the Newton Plaza in Latham, are thrilled by the exclusivity of the resource centers.

"We were so excited about this being first in our country," said Aviza, "It's a great kind of place where women can come together."

Norgrove said the two had faced some challenges getting started as women business owners, but she is confident that the resource centers will help them continue and strengthen their business.

According to market manager of the Capital Region Key4Women program Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas, similar resource centers through other organizations do exist, however Key4Women is unique because it is offered through a financial institution, which is the crux of any business.

"We believe this is the first time that a bank has offered anything like this for women business owners," she said in a press note, "We tested it with women clients and prospects and found that they welcomed the idea of a place where they can meet with other women and with experts to share business challenges and best practices."

Any Key Bank client may use the cost-free resource center by registering online or through a Key Bank representative. Its hours of operation will be the same as those of the connecting branches, although special events sponsored by the resource centers will be held off hours. The first event will be a program titled, "How to Become a Certified Woman Owned Business" scheduled for Tuesday, April 8, at the Wolf Road location.

When asked if they plan to hold their private business meetings at the Key4Women Resource Center, Aviza exclaimed, "Yeah! Why not?""

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