By JoAnn Kirby-DeFabio, VP Public Policy
NAWBO was founded in 1975 to open doors for women entrepreneurs by transforming public policy and influencing opinion makers. It started with twelve women business owners who met informally in the Washington, D.C. area to share information about federal contracts, access to capital and other issues related to their businesses. Through Congressional testimony, public policy conferences and member education, NAWBO has been at the forefront of advocacy on behalf of women business owners and the issues that impact their companies, representing them at the national and state levels.
Another public advocacy avenues is through the NAWBO National Congressional Endorsement Program. To help shape developments in our federal government, NAWBO will endorse select candidates for the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. (Candidates for state, county or local office are currently not being considered.) All candidates for endorsement will be considered and voted upon by the NAWBO National Board, not specific NAWBO chapters. Candidates are assessed on their own history of entrepreneurism and/or their public record of support for small business owners. The selected candidates will be men and women from both major political parties, running for office across the country. What they have in common will be their commitment to small business owners.
The following endorsements were announced:
- Barbara Comstock (R-VA), U.S. House of Representatives
- Mimi Walters (R-CA), U.S. House of Representatives
Advocacy opportunity from NAWO National: White House Conference on Small Business
NAWBO National is pleased to be part of a coalition that has been advocating for a White House Conference on Small Business. The last such conference was held in 1995. We have heard from many NAWBO members who attended previous conferences; they reported that the events were very valuable in gathering small business owners together to discuss the issues that matter to them and what steps can and should be taken in D.C. to further support small business owner. Now there is a bill in Congress called the “White House Conference on Small Business Act of 2018,” which was introduced on July 19 by Reps. Rod Blum (R-IA), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), and Al Lawson (D-FL) and referred to the House Committee on Small Business. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, reach out to Joy Lutes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAWBO National Offers Testimony on Workplace Flexibility before U.S. House Subcommittee
Loreen Gilbert, President of WealthWise Financial Services, a NAWBO member and former national board member, provided testimony to the U.S. House Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, Pensions. The Subcommittee chaired by Congressman Tim Walberg held a hearing on H.R. 4219, Workflex in the 21st Century Act on July 24. You can view her testimony in the archives at https://edworkforce.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=402913
Gilbert has also authored, “Now is the Time for Workflex in the 21stCentury,” where she expressed her support for H.R. 4219.
SCORE Legislation Passes the U.S. House
Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to reauthorize the SCORE program (Service Corps of Retired Executives) for FY2018-FY2019. The SCORE program is administered through the U.S. Small Business Administration and provides counseling, mentoring and coaching related to starting, expanding, managing, buying and selling a business at low or no cost to business owners.
U.S. House Passes Small Business Innovation Protection Act of 2017
The U.S. House of Representatives has also passed the Small Business Innovation Protection Act of 2017, which directs the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to enter into a partnership agreement to develop high-quality training for small business concerns; the program is related to domestic and international protection of intellectual property and how such protections should be considered in the business plans and growth strategies of small businesses; and to leverage existing training materials already developed to educate inventors and small business concerns.