A frequent complaint of female business owners is that they don't have access to the same outside advice as men. To help remedy the situation, a business counseling service has been developed by American Woman's Economic Development Corp. (AWED), a New York City -- based, nonprofit organization devoted to helping women achieve business success. The service includes a hot line, on which women call in and talk to volunteer counselors, usually retired or semiretired businesspeople. The charge is $5 a call, which may last up to 10 minutes. In addition, AWED provides in-depth counseling sessions that may run up to an hour and a half. Businesswomen should telephone with their questions prepared in advance or mail in an information sheet outlining their problems. An AWED counselor with the appropriate expertise will call back. The session costs $25.

To contact the hot line or set up a counseling session, call (800) 222-AWED in all states except New York, Alaska, and Hawaii. In New York City, Alaska, and Hawaii, call (212) 692-9100. Elsewhere in New York State, call (800) 442-AWED.