As a Woman-Owned Small Business, TargetGov is proud of the strides made to equal the playing field in the federal contracting market for woman-owned businesses and optimistic about the new piece of legislation, The Women’s Small Business Ownership Act of 2014 (S.2693). Gloria Berthold Larkin, TargetGov’s founder and President, is also the Educational Foundation Vice Chair for the organization Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) which has been instrumental in the advances made to help woman-owned businesses in the federal contracting market.
The Women’s Small Business Ownership Act of 2014 aims to give women the same level of access to federal contracts as other disadvantaged groups by addressing the major issues that have hindered their success such as limited use of the WOSB program, minimal access to capital, and insufficient access to business counseling and training.
Goal 1: To increase the use of the WOSB program –
S.2693 includes other, WIPP-supported legislation called the Women’s Small Business Procurement Parity Act (S.2481). This facet of the Act provides sole source authority in the WOSB procurement program so that even if just one woman-owned business is interested and capable of competing for a contract, the WOSB program can step in.
Goal 2: To increase access to capital –
The Women’s Small Business Ownership Act of 2014 enhances the SBA’s Microloan Program by both allowing the lending capacity of the program to increase from $5 million to $7 million and making the SBA Intermediary Lending Program permanent.
Goal 3: To increase access to business counseling and training –
The new legislation modernizes the Women’s Business Center Program which is a program that supports a network of over 100 counseling centers around the nation. S.2693 increases funding for the program from $14.5 million to $26.75 million per year and raises the maximum grant award from $150,000 to $250,000. The modernization of the program also includes implementing a formal set of program guidelines and reinstating the SBA’s authority to waive the federal matching requirement.
Evening out the playing field for woman-owned businesses in the federal contracting market produces a positive impact in both the government and the domestic economy. Woman-owned businesses have proved, time and time again, to be equally capable and determined compared to other business in their respective markets and S.2693 allows woman-owned businesses to prove their competencies in the federal atmosphere as well.
Increased competition in the federal contracting market will also improve the quality and prices of the products and services the government receives from contracted work.
The government and its agencies have worked hard to provide more contracting opportunities for disadvantaged groups and even reached its goal of 23% of contracts being awarded to small businesses this past fiscal year. The Women’s Small Business Ownership Act of 2014 gives women the same consideration, pushing for equality and narrowing the gender gap.
For more information about S. 2693, visit: https://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/2693/text
For more on WIPP, visit: www.wipp.org/