(WTNH)– Wednesday is Women-Owned Business Day.

A virtual gathering is being held for local women in business to talk to local lawmakers. This is the seventh annual event hosted by the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC).

The WBDC helps women start up, expand, and innovate their businesses. Today they’re announcing a new initiative to help those businesses.

“This month I’m proud to share we’ll award 44 businesses from every county in the state with a total of nearly 400k in grants, 32% of those are minorities,” said Fran Pastore, CEO, WBDC.

More funding will be announced in the coming weeks and will be matched by the state. Women-owned businesses contribute more than 16 billion dollars to Connecticut’S gross product each year.