As I write this blog post, I sit in a coffee shop owned by a woman and wonder how the continued economic downturn has impacted her business. Now there's an answer.  The latest research from the Center for Women's Business Research, The National Federation of Independent Business and Chase Card Services offers the first comprehensive look at the recession's impact on female business owners.

The Huffington Post reported on the new research and states the findings don't look good for women.  In fact, the data shows that more women focused on cutting costs (translation: not hiring more workers or expanding services) than those that tried to increase sales:

The report found that 45 percent of women-owned businesses concentrated on cutting business costs during the recession while 31 percent focused on increasing sales. Despite these and ongoing efforts, women business owners reported that their real volume sales still remain lower today than when the recession began in 2007.

While the recession proved to be a prolonged challenge, it also served as a learning period for many businesses, allowing them to see the true value behind both traditional and modern business strategies.

If given the opportunity, I suspect many of the female business owners included in this report would tell the President to spare them his faux concern for their contraception needs and instead focus on the issues that really concern them: getting the economy back on track so they can grow their businesses.

Read the entire report here.