NAWBO Legislative Advocacy Updates
By JoAnn Kirby-DeFabio, VP of Public Policy
The U.S. House of Representatives has been passing some bills that affect small businesses:
- R. 128, Small Business Advocacy Improvements Act of 2019 – Introduced by Rep. James Comer (R-KY) and Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), it provides the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy with statutory authority to examine the role of small business in international economies and to represent small business views before foreign governments and international entities.
- R. 226, Clarity on Small Business Participation in Category Management Act of 2019 – introduced by Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) and Ranking Member Steve Chabot (R-OH), it requires the SBA to report federal spending made through designated “best-in-class” contracts, and to report the dollars spent through these vehicles that are awarded to small businesses.
- R. 227, Incentivizing Fairness in Subcontracting Act – introduced by Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) and Rep. Trent Kelly (R-MS), the bill allows large prime contractors to be credited for subcontracting to small businesses at lower tiers, provided that prime contractors keep records substantiating such credit; and it creates a new dispute process for small subcontractors to bring nonpayment issues to the Offices of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization within each respective federal agency.
2019 Public Policy Agenda
In 2019, NAWBO will continue to pursue a public policy agenda that positions the organization at the forefront of issues that impact our members. We will also continue to:
- Build and strengthen partnerships, coalitions, and credibility to ensure our members are represented and seen as thought leaders on issues of importance to business owners.
- Work with the Congress and the Administration on issues relating to and impacting women business owners
- Look ahead to the upcoming census to ensure women business owners are accounted for accurately.
NAWBO’s annual Public Policy Day will be held in Washington, D.C. on June 4th. Here is the link for those who are interested in attending: https://www.nawbo.org/events/nawbo-advocacy-day-2019. The organization’s full public policy platform is at https://www.nawbo.org/advocacy/2019-public-policy-agenda. Here are some highlights:
Access to Capital
NAWBO believes access to capital is integral for women entrepreneurs to be able to start new businesses and successfully grow existing ones.
Education and Workforce
We will look to support legislation that encourages and increases opportunities to fill and accelerate the pipelines between the workforce and employers with a specific interest in legislation impacting STEM education. We will also look for opportunities to weigh in on behalf of our members on issues like health care, pension reform, paid leave. and workplace flexibility.
Government Contracting and Disparity Studies
NAWBO supports efforts by Congress to increase the allocation of federal contracts to be performed and/or fulfilled by small businesses, particularly women-owned businesses, and also believes federal agencies should be held accountable to achieve their small business contracting requirements. NAWBO believes that functions and services that are widely available in the private sector should not be performed by federal agencies.
NAWBO encourages the negotiation and approval of trade agreements with other significant open new markets, leveling the playing field and improving the competitiveness for U.S. women business owners. NAWBO also supports improving and strengthening trade promotion programs to assist small women-owned businesses in exporting their goods and services.
Federal regulations impacting business and the accompanying uncertainty this generates can have a harmful effect on the U.S. economy by dampening business investment, growth, and job creation. Overall, NAWBO would like to see a regulatory environment that operates as effectively and efficiently as possible and includes feedback and engagement from business owners at all points during the rulemaking process.
NAWBO will continue to monitor the implementation of the tax reforms passed in 2017 and assess the impact on our members. We will work with relevant committees on legislation that may additionally aid micro, small and medium-sized businesses.
NAWBO supports policies that will encourage more startups and enable more of them to grow and expand. We believe that investments in the technology infrastructure could increase international competitiveness and that the modernization of laws, regulations, and rules regarding data could help create investment opportunities and spur job creation.