May is National Small Business Month—a month-long opportunity to acknowledge everything small businesses do for our country and our communities. Of the more than 6,000 women business owners that create our NAWBO® membership, 90 percent are small business owners, too. They are part of Main Street America that is 27.5 million small businesses strong. Together, these small businesses employ half of all U.S. workers, have created 65 percent of all new jobs in our country over the past 17 years and are poised to create the majority of new jobs and economic growth needed in the U.S. in years to come.
NAWBO® understands how critical this business segment is to the U.S. economy and that’s why we celebrate and advocate for it year-round. Last month, in fact, we were proud to join with other like-minded trade groups representing the financial services and small business communities to call for the strengthening of small business lending. This was part of an expanded partnership among small businesses, financial service representatives and trade associations at the 2nd annual Small Business Lending Summit in Washington, DC.
The event featured key policymakers, including Karen Mills, Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration; Martin Gruenberg, Acting Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; John Walsh, Acting U.S. Comptroller of the Currency; Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Majority Whip, U.S. House of Representatives; and Don Graves, Executive Director of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Additionally, NAWBO® National Board Member Deborah Stallings, President & CEO of HR Anew, participated in a panel discussion on challenges faced by underserved markets, like veterans and women.
This month, we continue our efforts to strengthen the playing field for small businesses through our participation in the Small Business Summit, May 21-23 in Washington DC. NAWBO® is partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Latino Coalition to host this year’s event that brings together more than 600 small businesses and local chamber and association leaders and features speakers like political strategists James Carville and Mary Matalin as well as Fed-Ex’s Chairman, President & CEO Frederick W. Smith.
We are excited to meet with congressional staffers of the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Small Business Administration and more to meet with NAWBO® members.
NAWBO® is also proud to host, and I am honored to serve as moderator, of the Summit Breakout Session “Green Light to Growth: Driving Job Creation Begins With Increased Access to Capital.” It will feature expert panelists Roz L. Alford, Founder and Co-principal, ASAP Solutions Group, LLC; Andy Guggenheim, Counsel, House Committee on Small Business; Jeanne A. Hulit, Acting Associate Administrator, Office of Capital Access, U.S. Small Business Administration; and Patty Tuttle, Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo Mid-Atlantic Region.
There’s so much happening this month, and every month, for women and small businesses that want to have a strong voice in decisions that impact our communities and our country. There’s still time to register for next week’s Summit and NAWBO® Public Policy Day at www.uschambersummit.com. I hope to see you there!
—Diane Tomb, NAWBO® President & CEO