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             Dear Respondent:
             
             Women-owned businesses account for 38 percent of all firms in 
             the country.  Over half of the 9.1 million woment-owned 
             businesses are located in the top 50 metro areas.  However, 
             we have little knowledge of who these women are and how their 
             businesses develop.  With such information, we can assist and 
             advocate more effectively on their behalf.
             
             Since you are a woman business owner in Malden, we are asking 
             you to provide us with information and opinions relevant to 
             your experience.  Your prompt participation and cooperation 
             is crucial to the future development of women-owned 
             businesses.  In order to obtain representative information 
             about women-owned businesses in Malden, it is important that 
             you complete and return this questionnaire.
             
             You may be assured of  complete confidentiality.  Information 
             will only be provided in summary form.  Your name or the name 
             of your company will not be utilized in any report or in any 
             other manner.
             
             We will make the results of this research available to 
             officials in our city government and women's advocate 
             associations to identify obstacles to the growth of 
             women-owned businesses and to promote the deisng of policy 
             initiatives to further enhance their success.  You may 
             receive a summary of results by writing "copy of results 
             requested" on the back of the return envelope, and printing 
             your name and address below it.  Please do not put this 
             information on the questionnaire itself.
             
             Thank you for your cooperation and prompt response.

     
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