Access to capital is a key tool for women entrepreneurs to start new businesses and successfully expand existing enterprises. For our nation’s economy to continue to improve, it is critical for Congress to focus on supporting established programs with a proven track record of success that helps financial institutions through added incentives for providing capital to small and women-owned businesses. In addition, it is important for Congress and the Administration to strive to remove unnecessary obstacles to capital formation and resist legislation and regulations that hinder the ability of women business owners to raise capital, mitigate risk and manage liquidity.
For these reasons, and more, access to capital tops NAWBO’s public policy agenda of business issues for 2016. Other business issues we are advocating for in 2016 include:
Education and Workforce
NAWBO understands that an educated, prepared workforce is the key to growing businesses. 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 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.
NAWBO strongly 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. In this vein, NAWBO opposes efforts by Congress or the Administration to encourage the sourcing of functions currently contracted to the private sector.
NAWBO encourages the Administration to negotiate and Congress to approve 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.
The massive increase in Federal regulations impacting business and the accompanying uncertainty this generates has a harmful effect on the U.S. economy by dampening business investment, growth and job creation. NAWBO supports legislative efforts to require federal agencies that tailor new regulations to impose the least cost necessary to achieve policy goals set by Congress.
NAWBO supports comprehensive tax reform designed to lower the corporate and marginal tax rates while broadening the tax base to provide greater certainty and increase competitiveness for women-owned businesses. Such reform should enact simple, predictable, easy-to-comprehend tax rules to reduce the cost of administration. Since a significant number of NAWBO members have businesses that are structured as pass-through entities for tax purposes and, therefore, file their taxes through their individual filings, we oppose any legislative effort to increase the marginal income tax rates as this would impact a substantial number of women-owned businesses.
This agenda benefits the majority of NAWBO members while also increasing our visibility and credibility with elected officials, agency personnel, peer organizations and members of the media. It includes an expanded agenda that folds in other issues that impact women entrepreneurs, such as breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, pension reform and retirement planning. By broadening our focus to include these additional issues, we increase our ability to build coalitions and credibility with members of both political parties as well as establish NAWBO leaders as thought leaders on a greater variety of issues and garner media attention.
NAWBO Advocacy Day Is Your Chance to Be Heard
Join us on June 14, 2016, for a day full of meetings with officials from the White House and Congress. We have you covered and will reserve a place for you at the table with the individuals making the decisions that will impact you and your business. This is your chance to weigh on the issues of the day, meet your elected officials and connect with other NAWBO members from across the country. The more NAWBO members who show up, the more our voice will be heard, so please plan to join us as we advocate on behalf of one of this country’s best economic resources—YOU!
Also, while in Washington, D.C. why not join us the following day—June 15, 2016—for NAWBO Leadership Development Training. This is beneficial for current and future chapter leaders as well as any woman business owner wanting to strengthen her leadership skills. Learn more and register here!