National Public Policy Primer

 

October 25, 2013

NAWBO PUBLIC POLICY 

 Women Entrepreneurs Mark 25th Anniversary
of the Passage of the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988

Washington, D.C - October 25th marks the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Women’s Business Ownership Act of 1988 in the United States. The legislation, designated as H.R. 5050 – for the equality it set out to establish – was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.

“This landmark piece of legislation ushered in a transformation in women’s enterprise development by addressing key barriers that had been impeding entrepreneurism and business growth by women,” said Billie Dragoo, Chair and Interim CEO of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), an organization that was instrumental in the legislation’s passage. “As a result of this legislation, women entrepreneurs were provided with long overdue access to capital, education and technical assistance offered in a woman’s voice, access to federal policymaking circles, and the undercounting of the number and economic contributions of women-owned businesses were finally addressed.”

The four tenets of the Act included: 1) extending the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to include business credit, 2) launching a “demonstration project” that resulted in the establishment of women’s business centers across the country, 3) establishing the National Women’s Business Council, and 4) directing the Census Bureau to include all women-owned firms in its quinquennial business census.

“As important as all of the elements of the Act have been to women’s enterprise development, I’d argue that providing compelling and myth-busting data and statistics have done more than capital, counseling and community to propel the growth of women-owned businesses forward. Indeed, it has proven to be the fuel that has opened eyes, changed hearts and minds, and allowed us to measure progress and point out continued gaps,” stated Julie Weeks, President and CEO of Womenable, who has conducted much of the groundbreaking research on women’s entrepreneurship that has been undertaken since the passage of the Women’s Business Ownership Act.

The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), a bipartisan advisory body created by H.R. 5050, has as its mission to provide advice and counsel on women entrepreneurial needs to the Congress, the Administrator of the Small Business Administration and the President of the United States.  

“Women business owners today are often shocked to hear about the challenges that their predecessors faced only 25 years ago,” according to Virginia Littlejohn, CEO of Quantum Leaps, Inc., one of the NAWBO leadership team who helped the House Small Business Committee organize the hearings. “In an era when many states required a male to co-sign a business loan, one witness who was divorced and didn’t have a husband or father who could be a co-signer had to ask her 17-year old son to co-sign for her – when he couldn’t even vote.”

In addition to commemorating the silver anniversary of H.R. 5050, women are looking forward to what remains to be done, cognizant of the integral role women entrepreneurs play in the nation’s economy. Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) is best known as an umbrella group that provides advocacy on behalf of many major associations of women entrepreneurs. It has played a significant role in creating expanded opportunities for women-owned businesses in federal contracting. WIPP’s President and Co-Founder, Barbara Kasoff has been a trailblazer in creating a powerful national voice for women entrepreneurs, and training for a women entrepreneurial growth agenda.  She added, “We know all too well that our work is not nearly done; and we know all too well that while women are key drivers of economic growth, we continue to face barriers to economic participation and that gap undermines global economic expansion, an important factor in our growth. We are creating partnerships, we are energizing our leaders and we are building a new, more inclusive and robust role for women in our nation.”

“Women are leading the economic recovery in this country by starting more businesses and growing them faster. If we can spur every woman business owner to add just one employee to her company, we will add millions of new jobs and give this economy the jolt of growth it needs,” said Monica Smiley, publisher and CEO of Enterprising Women, a magazine that reaches one million women entrepreneurs in 185 countries around the globe. 

 About NAWBO®

Founded in 1975, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) propels women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide by: strengthening the wealth creating capacity of our members and promoting economic development within the entrepreneurial community; creating innovative and effective change in the business culture; building strategic alliances, coalitions and affiliations; and transforming public policy and influencing opinion makers. Learn more at www.nawbo.org.

Media Contact
Joy Lutes

NAWBO Public Policy
jlutes@nawbo.org
703-362-0150


September 24, 2013

NAWBO PUBLIC POLICY  

Joy Lutes introduced Beth Solomon, President and CEO of NADCO (National Association of Development Companies. This organization helps funders of SBA loans. They want to help WBO’s with their financial needs and believe access to capital is still an unfulfilled need for WBO’s.

NADCO is the primary source for Certified Development Companies who can do loans that the banks cannot do because of federal regulations. Their goal is to help refinance expensive debt that stifles business grown on owner occupied real estate.  They will be at the Miami NAWBO Conference.

This is done primarily through SBA 504 loans which can also be done through any of our many local bank partners and I would encourage you to first talk to one of our local chapter bank sponsors before you seek out NADCO.

The SBA 504 program is for Real Estate that will be owner occupied and for fixed assets and equipment with a 10 year life or longer. In the past most WBO’s have not been able to qualify for this program because we rent our space.  But if you think you qualify for an SBA 504 loan do call one of our sponsors to check into the program.

Next up we received an update on the Continuing Resolution to keep Congress funded until and if we ever get a budget agreement.  Nothing new here…same story as the last time.  Trust me after they have made headlines long enough they will fund the government with both sides claiming victory.

Since I am in the lending business let me just say this about funding your business.  Most WBO’s need small amounts of money for equipment; if your bank says no, do not use your credit cards to fund your business.  That went out in the 80’s.  There are credit unions, third party lenders, finance companies and leasing companies that will work with a new or established business when the amount of the loan is too small for the bank, the bank doesn’t like the equipment or your credit is not sufficient to get approval.

Speaking of that; Debt is Not a Dirty Word!  Good debt can help you grow your business.  However if you are over extended now and are not paying your business and personal credit on time, no one is going to lend to you.

Your personal credit is part of the credit package no matter where you go for a loan.  So pay your bills on time and if you have had a problem in the past you will pay a little higher rate, but it is worth it to reestablish your credit.

Linda Jolicoeur, Public Policy Chair, GD Chapter

 



June 11, 2013

NAWBO NATIONAL PUBLIC POLICY

Jennifer Schaus of Jennifer Schaus & Associates discussed navigating the federal markets.  Why selling to the feds could lead to a steady stream of business, guaranteed payment, a diversified customer base and leveraging the federal set aside goals.

The SBA has a 5% set aside goal for doing business with Women Owned Businesses.  If your business is not certified Deb Loeser, Center of Empowerment Economic Development can help.  You can reach her at 734.695.1411.  She will assist in determining what type of certification would best fit your type of business.

Some things to remember when dealing with the Federal government are the long sale cycles; everything moves slower with any government agency.  The Aug-Sept window is a critical time for getting business as this is when most agencies do their budgets for the coming year.

Don’t forget your state and local government as well.  Once you are certified you will be put on an approved list of WBE’s! Good luck! Get Certified and increase your sales!

Linda Jolicoeur
Public Policy Chapter Chair



February 28, 2013

ADVOCACY

The Hill: Embattled Federal Office Reports Saving Small Businesses Billions: The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy cut first-year regulatory costs for start-ups by $2.4 billion in 2012, according to a new report issued by the office.Click here to read more.

The House Small Business Committee Urges Responsible SBA Budget for 2014: The House Small Business Committee conducted a markup of its Views and Estimates for the 2014 Small Business Administration Act. Click here to read more.

Sequester Deadline Looms - With the sequester due to kick in Friday, March 1, please Click here to learn more about what the sequester is and how it might impact your business and the economy as a whole. The White House has released new state-by-state reports detailing the impact the sequester will have on jobs and middle class families across the country to review the impact to your state click on the link below.

Alabama

Illinois

Montana

Rhode Island

Alaska

Indiana

Nebraska

South Carolina

Arizona

Iowa

Nevada

South Dakota

Arkansas

Kansas

New Hampshire

Tennessee

California

Kentucky

New Jersey

Texas

Colorado

Louisiana

New Mexico

Utah

Connecticut

Maine

New York

Vermont

Delaware

Maryland

North Carolina

Virginia

District of Columbia

Massachusetts

North Dakota

Washington

Florida

Michigan

Ohio

West Virginia

Georgia

Minnesota

Oklahoma

Wisconsin

Hawaii

Mississippi

Oregon

Wyoming

Idaho

Missouri

Pennsylvania

 


PARTNERS

NAWBO/Web.com Survey Continues to Gain Media Attention: We are pleased that our 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Survey that we partnered with Web.com on continues to attract media attention. One of the latest hits came from a press release which cited our survey findings. Please use this link to read more - Market Ease’s CEO Comments on Recent Survey Results from the National Association of Women Business Owners.

 



February 13, 2013

Sequester……

There is one more day left before sequester as I write this February update on our NAWBO National Public Policy call from Tuesday.  To listen to the DC types you would think Armageddon is upon us.

Looking over the handy list state by state of the “threatened” cuts to everything it looks like Michigan is in for approximately 2 billion all on our own.  Multiply that by 50 states and 7 US territories and you have well over the measly 85 billion(2 Cents on the dollar by the way) we are supposed to be cutting from our 3 TRILLION dollar budget.

Remember these cuts are “Washington Speak” for a reduction in the INCREASE in government spending for fiscal year 2013.  See the “pie chart” from Michael Ramirez below…..


We are not serious about reducing the incredible debt and the borrowing of 40 cents on every dollar we spend with this kind of behavior.  As women I believe we care about the debt we are passing on to our children and grandchildren.  There is no simple way to do this but to hurt for a little while. 

For another view on how messed our economy is I turn to FEDUPUSA.org.  In today’s blog they write the following on Fed Chair Ben Bernanke’s testimony before Congress recently:

Bernanke got cornered badly, as he wound up admitting that any spending cut would be “bad” from his point of view in the short term, as it would depress GDP.

Well, as I’ve said all alone, duh!

One man’s fraud, waste and abuse is in fact another man’s paycheck!  This is unavoidable.  It’s not that you want it to be that way, but it is that way.

This is the challenge we must accept as Americans:  We must accept that our economy will contract as we remove monopoly practices in the medical system, as we collapse the cost of medical care, as we stop companies from selling unnecessary power chairs and scooters to people and billing the government, as we stop buying $400 toilet seats and $200 hammers, and as we stop building bridges that nobody drives on — the infamous “bridges to nowhere.”

All of those things do in fact add to GDP.

Stealing from the people is additive to GDP but it is nonetheless stealing and must not be tolerated!

The reality of our economy today is that government enables ridiculous levels of theft, fraud and abuse and nobody goes to jail.  Then, when anyone talks about getting rid of that fraud, theft, and abuse the screaming starts about how it will “harm the economy.”

Rearranging the chairs on the Titanic is not going to solve our problem.  Taking our medicine now as opposed to later is the only answer or it WILL get worse.

As business women we know the only way to solve a budget problem is to match revenues and spending.  If they are not equal or revenues are not greater than expenditures; you have a problem.

Linda Jolicoeur

Public Policy Chair



January 25, 2013

As your Public Policy Chair I will be participating in monthly updates from our national office. Our first call took place this past Tuesday.  Karen Kerrigan, President and CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, briefed us on progress or lack thereof in DC on key issues.

Many of you I am sure are aware the 113th Congress pulled together a package of legislation that prevented the “Fiscal Cliff” on Jan. 3rd.  The new Congress made up of 233 Republicans, 200 Democrats and 2 Independents that vote with the Democrats.  29 are small business owners, 98 women in the house (78) & Senate (20) making this a more woman friendly Congress.

While the so called “Fiscal Cliff” was avoided and I believe it would have been more of a slide than a cliff, there is still much to be resolved to have good governance in DC.  Still to come is the rise of the Debt Ceiling which must happen by mid-February, Sequestration, Spending Cuts must be decided by March 27th and budget approved by April 15th.

Many of you know that the Senate has not passed a budget in over 3 years.  Let’s hope they get to it this year and put our country on a more stable financial road.  At least one bonding agency has stated they WILL downgrade the bond rating of the USA if significant spending controls are not enacted.  A drop in the bond rating would mean higher interest cost to our government and a certain increase in taxes.

Before you all nod off with the mention of the word taxes, Karen feel optimistic that something will be done on “Tax Reform” this year as well as Immigration Reform.

My suggestion to the committee was that rather than concentrate on “Tax Reform”, (how do you reform 70,000 pages of tax code), that we promote “TAX REPLACEMENT”.  What do I mean by that?

Our tax code is 100 years old.  5,000 new laws were added to it last year alone.  We have attempted “REFORM” under the last 5 presidents and not been successful.  It is time for a simpler system that brings all parties into the system.  Everyone should have some skin in the game as they say even the poor. 

Some argue that the poor do pay sales and property taxes.  Ok, that helps their state and local government but does nothing to add to the Federal Revenues.  It is time to eliminate the IRS as we know it and replace it with a simple national sales tax collected at the register on all purchases.  (NOTE THIS WOULD NOT BE AN ADDITIONAL TAX BUT WOULD REPLACE ALL INCOME TYPE TAXES).

As your Public Policy Chair I would like to hear from you and get your thoughts on taxes.  Rep. David Camp from the west side of MI is the Chair of the Appropriations Committee.  I have met with his Chief of Staff on the tax issue.  I would very much like to hear from you.

Linda Jolicoeur

 

 

 

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