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Our organizational blog featuring the most important news in WIPP advocacy for women-owned businesses; federal procurement education, programs, and opportunities; and signature events celebrating and engaging with this powerful community.

 

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President's Message: Get Ready for Small Business Saturday

Posted By Candace Waterman, WIPP President & CEO, Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Every day, WIPP is on Capitol Hill advocating for federal policies and legislation that benefit women-owned and minority-owned businesses. But most small business, like politics, is local. Each year, WIPP leverages our grassroots origins to help celebrate local business owners across the nation. 


On November 30, we ask you to join us in celebrating the 10th annual Small Business Saturday®, backed by American Express. 


Founded in 2010 by American Express, the Saturday after Thanksgiving has become a holiday shopping tradition dedicated to uniting communities and supporting all kinds of small businesses. 


Since 2011, WIPP has been a part of Small Business Saturday by leading the Small Business Saturday Coalition, an always-growing grassroots network of more than 600 national, state, and local associations across the country and in U.S. territories that support strengthening local economies through the Shop Small® Movement.


As leader in the Coalition, WIPP leverages our relationships on Capitol Hill as well as with local public officials to recognize Small Business Saturday and acknowledge the contributions of more than 10 million women-owned small businesses in the backbone of our economy. 


Get Ready and Get Involved: 


  • Visit AmericanExpress.com/MarketingSupport for customized marketing materials for your storefront, website, and social networks, and to show your support. Download them for free in the Shop Small Studio. 

  • Connect with your community. Connect with other organizations and businesses in your community to see how you can work together on Small Business Saturday events and promotions.

  • Make plans on November 30 to visit your local corner store, your favorite cleaners or restaurant, or your trendy online boutique.


Commit to #ShopSmall on Saturday, November 30 and celebrate the small businesses that help our local communities grow jobs and stay vibrant.


Tags:  partner  President's Message  Shop Small  Small Business Saturday 

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Regulatory Rigmarole: The Devil Is In The Details

Posted By Ann Sullivan, WIPP Chief Advocate, Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Advocacy comes in all forms. While the WIPP Advocacy Team focuses much of our attention on Congressional action, our work with agencies, especially SBA, is every bit as important. Staying vigilant on all fronts is critical to all businesses, large and small. 


As a WIPP Member, you probably already know more than the average person about regulations that impact small business owners – regardless of whether they are proposed, interim-final, or final rules. But, you probably don’t know exactly what that means or how they get to those stages in the first place. 

AnnSullivan

The Process of Rulemaking

 

The first thing to know is that proposed regulations are known as “rules” and the rulemaking process is lengthier than you might expect. When Congress passes a law, the agency then gets to work to implement it. The final product is a new regulation. To get from the passage of a law to a new regulation involves a number of steps by the agencies.  


An agency’s first step is to develop a draft regulation known as a proposed rule. Then, the agency sends the draft to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review. OIRA is tasked with circulating this regulation among other government agencies, taking into account this feedback. OIRA is a federal office that was created by Congress in 1980. In 1991, an Executive Order directed that the office would formally review all draft proposed and final rules before they were published in the Federal Register.


OIRA makes suggested changes and sends the proposed rule back to the agency. The agency then issues a proposed rule which it publishes on www.regulations.gov for public comment. The comment period is usually open for 60 days, although some only accept comments for 30 days. Comments are not limited to organizations like WIPP – anyone or any entity can provide comments on a proposed rule. 


The agency reviews the public input to revise a final product which typically takes another 60 to 90 days and summarizes its findings and issues a final rule. Done, right? Not quite. The final rule once again goes to OIRA for review – only when this approval process is complete can the new regulation be published as a final rule.


Need more information on the process? Download the SBA’s Office of Advocacy Basic Guideline to Rulemaking and Small Businesses.  


What WIPP Comments On

 

WIPP has commented on a number of important proposed rules on a variety of issues. By commenting on proposed rules, WIPP has the ability to shape the outcome of the regulation. The devil is in the details, so this stage of advocacy is, in many cases, as important as passage of the law. 


In 2019, WIPP submitted comments to SBA on a number of small business contracting rules ranging from the proposed WOSB/EDWOSB certification rule, to the rule implementing the Small Business Runway Extension Act. WIPP also submitted comments to the Department of Defense (DoD) on its proposed Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification—a far-reaching cyber certification, which will affect every federal contractor and subcontractor.


Just last month, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council recently proposed an interim final rule that will amend the FAR to prohibit the federal government from procuring or obtaining, or extending or renewing a contract to procure or obtain, “any equipment, system, or service that uses covered telecommunications equipment or services as a substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system” in order to combat the national security and intellectual property threats that face the United States. 


WIPP recognized the wide-reaching importance of this rule and jointly submitted comments in response. It is important to note that the interim rule impacts ALL contractors — not just those that offer information and communication technology. Each contractor is responsible for determining whether telecommunications equipment and services will be provided under both new and existing contracts and orders. 


Learn more about FAR Council


Take Action Now


As we noted in our Advocacy Update last month, the FAR Council has issued a proposed rule to avoid using Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) source selection criteria in circumstances that would deny the government the benefits of cost and technical tradeoffs in the source selection process. LPTA has been a long-hated acquisition pricing policy in the small business community. This rule specifically states that LPTA source selection criteria should be avoided for procurements for IT services, cyber security, systems engineering services, and others. 


Submit a comment on this proposed rule by December 2, 2019


Note: One part of the regulatory process to note— when the FAR Council issues a proposed rule it is listed with a “FAR Case” number instead of a “Regulatory Identification Number” (RIN).


It’s tough to keep up with everything as a small business – I know – I am one. That’s why membership in WIPP is critical to your bottom line – we follow and initiate the actions important to women-owned businesses.


Tags:  Advocacy  FAR  regulatory 

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Empowering Women Veteran Business Owners on the Road to Procurement

Posted By Barb Carson, Deputy Associate Administrator, Government Contracting and Business Development, SBA , Sunday, November 3, 2019
Updated: Thursday, October 31, 2019

During National Veterans Small Business Week (NVSBW), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) celebrates, connects, and empowers service members (including National Guard and Reserve), veteran, and military spouse entrepreneurs and business owners—past, present, and future.

 

Barb Carson

From Nov. 4-8, we’re highlighting resources to help veterans on their mission to successful business ownership, including information on how women veterans can propel their business forward through government contracting. As a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, I’m dedicated to supporting women veterans on their business ownership journey.

 

At the SBA, I work to empower them with the resources they need to identify, and compete for, federal contracting opportunities. There’s huge potential for women veteran business owners to grow their business through federal procurement.

 

Just last year, Women-Owned Small Businesses and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses received over $22 billion in contracting dollars. This could equate to over 121K jobs—a historic high for both! Plus, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses were awarded over $20.6 billion in contracts.

 

Whether you’re trying to win your first government contract or you’re an experienced federal contractor, the SBA and its resource network are available to support you:

 

  • Women Business Centers (WBC):
    WBCs offer women entrepreneurs access to all of the SBA’s financial and procurement assistance programs. Your local center can connect you to online and in-person procurement trainings, matchmaking events, and contracting opportunities. Stop by your local WBC today to learn more.
  • Veteran Business Outreach Centers (VBOC):

    VBOCs are available across the nation to support women veterans in all areas of business development, including government contracting. Find a VBOC near you to learn how you can leverage the procurement benefits set aside for both women- and veteran-owned businesses.

 

  • Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP):
    The Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP) is a veteran entrepreneurship program focused on federal procurement. VIP programs are free of charge, and each program is designed to meet you where you are in your government contracting journey—whether you’re just starting out, interested in growing in the field, or ready to take your business overseas.

 

For more information about SBA government contracting resources, check out the SBA Contracting Website.

 

On Thursday, November 7, I’ll be participating in the next ChallengeHER event in Huntsville, AL to discuss challenges, best practices, and resources available for women in government contracting. I’m excited for the opportunity to be on a panel specifically focused on women veterans in light of NVSBW and Veterans Day. Following the event, I’m attending a women veterans’ coffee with the Catalyst Center to chat with women veterans about their entrepreneurship experience—and hear their pain points surrounding the government contracting certification process.

 

I’d like to extend our appreciation and gratitude to Women Impacting Public Policy for including us in this important discussion around resources for women veterans in government contracting. For information on NVSBW and how you can get involved, visit sba.gov/vetbiz.

Tags:  resource  SBA  veteran 

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WIPP Member Spotlight - Denita R. Conway

Posted By Laura Berry, Friday, November 1, 2019
Updated: Thursday, October 31, 2019
Denita R. Conway

Denita R. Conway

President & CEO

PROVEN Management

https://www.provenmgmt.com

WIPP Member since 2015


What led you to join WIPP? 


I have been a government contractor since my firm Proven Management was conceived. I decided to join WIPP for various reasons; however, the primary reason was to gain an understanding of how policies can and will impact my woman-owned small business. Further, it was important for me to immerse myself with women who share a common interest in business advancement and equality.

 

As a federal contractor, what is your biggest takeaway from WIPP advocacy actions?


Hmmm, there is so much. I think the highlight is being a part of change. I love the idea that we are in the forefront of what is happening and to have our voices heard. One of the best feelings is knowing that I’m a part of the organization that achieved the Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) certification program. That was collaboration at its best.


Every voice counts. Working together is the strength of WIPP. The WIPP leadership is engaged and committed to seeing equality and fair practices. I have learned so much as a business owner about economic policy and current legislative initiatives. I have placed what I have learned to practice and I am convinced that WIPP has had a huge impact on my business growth and overall vitality. 


You were highlighted as a success story in your region’s 2019 SBA Resource Guide.

What was that like? 


Monumental. When I received the call that I would be featured as a success story in the 2019 SBA Resource Guide, it was surreal. Being recognized as a “Business Woman to Watch” and for the opportunity to share how the SBA has helped shape me and my business is exactly what owning a government contracting business is all about. I was delighted to be featured, but more importantly, I was thrilled to share my story. 


What is your proudest moment for PROVEN?


It’s so hard to choose one moment - so, here are my highlights: First is when I was voted as SBA 2018 - Washington, DC Small Business Person of the Year. Followed by the days my daughters decided to join the PROVEN Management team to ultimately help me create a legacy for future generations. 


However, the true moments of sheer joy come when our firm has the opportunity to assist agencies solve their problems. There’s no denying that overwhelming immediate feeling of humility and accomplishment.


What is the biggest challenge you have overcome with PROVEN?


The biggest challenge was understanding how to run and maintain a successful business in a changing political climate, while also operating in a male-dominated industry. Through it all, I have learned to accept failure, to embrace my mistakes, to be patient and most importantly, to be kind. Everything will not always go my way, but everything works out in the end. 


What advice would you give to a new member looking to be engaged in the WIPP network? 


Don’t merely sit on the sidelines to watch…utilize the resources and engage with the brilliant community of business owners. The WIPP community is full of women and men looking to help others achieve success. Plus, when we have people committed to change, we all win.

PROVEN

--

Learn more about Denita and her team at PROVEN at https://www.provenmgmt.com.


Each month, WIPP highlights a member who has leveraged WIPP membership to grow their business, engage with elected officials, and/or elevate the mission of WIPP and the visibility of women-owned businesses.


Tags:  leadership  Membership  spotlight 

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Message From The President: National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted By Candace Waterman, WIPP President & CEO, Thursday, October 31, 2019

Last October, I wrote a personal essay about what it means to lead through the lens of a breast cancer survivor. Yet just a few weeks ago, when a close friend shared her diagnosis, I was once again reminded that this road is shared by too many woman, too often.

Breast Cancer Awareness

 

As we draw National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to a close, I hope you will continue to acknowledge those women long after the color pink is replaced by the holiday rush. These are women who run their businesses, lead their families, and find time to laugh all while fighting breast cancer. Although more women are surviving this disease than ever before, we will never forget those who have been taken too soon.

 

Thank you to everyone who has offered support and love through my journey, and I offer my heart to those who are shouldering this burden today.

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WBENC Celebrates NWSBM with a Campaign to #BuyWomenOwned

Posted By WBENC, Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, October 30, 2019

WIPP is a National Strategic Partner with the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned, controlled, and operated by women in the United States.

WBENC marked National Women’s Small Business Month with a campaign to raise awareness for why, where, and how to #BuyWomenOwned and support women-owned small businesses. As the nation’s leading provider of women-owned business certification, WBENC works to empower and advocate for women entrepreneurs every day. For the month of October, they are passing the baton to the public and urge all consumers to make a conscious effort to #BuyWomenOwned. Read on as WBENC explains why it’s important to #BuyWomenOwned and support women entrepreneurs!

WHY BUY WOMEN OWNED

 

Over the last few decades, the number of women-owned businesses has skyrocketed. In 1972, women owned just 402,000 or 4.6 percent of businesses; today there are 12.9 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., representing 42 percent of all businesses. Women-owned businesses collectively employ 9.4 million people and generate $1.9 trillion in revenue.

While that’s a sizable impact, women-owned businesses account for just 8% of the total private sector workforce and 4.3% of total private sector revenues. And unfortunately, the revenue disparity between women-owned businesses and all businesses has increased over the last 20+ years. For every dollar generated by a privately held company overall, women-owned businesses generated just 37 cents in 1997 and 30 cents in 2019. 

In addition, the majority of women-owned businesses generate less than $250k in revenue – and yet, data shows that substantial business growth in terms of revenue and number of employees begins to take off after reaching $250k in revenue. 

With more support and increased access to opportunities and capital, women-owned businesses are poised to exceed this critical revenue threshold and make a significant impact on the overall economy.

Supporting women-owned businesses means investing in women’s economic empowerment, gender equality in business, and sustainable economic growth. It means believing in a future where women entrepreneurs have the same opportunities and growth potential as their male counterparts, where the marketplace is as diverse as the population it serves, and where women are viewed as equals across economic and business ecosystems. 

HOW TO BUY WOMEN OWNED

 

Look for the Logo

Next time you are running errands or going shopping, keep on the look-out for the Women Owned Logo. Any storefronts, websites and product labels bearing the Women Owned Logo have been certified as at least 51 percent owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women by WBENC in the United States and WEConnect International globally.

Search the Directory

Need a handy guide to women-owned businesses to support? Check out our Women Owned Business Directory, featuring hundreds of products from WBENC or WEConnect-Certified businesses. 

Join the Movement

We are on a mission to build a movement of support for women-owned businesses. Join us! In addition to making a conscious effort to #BuyWomenOwned this month (and beyond!), stay informed and help us spread the word about National Women’s Small Business Month. Here’s how:

 

LEARN MORE

 

About WBENC

WBENC is the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned, controlled, and operated by women in the United States. WBENC partners with 14 Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs) to provide its world-class standard of certification to women-owned businesses throughout the country. WBENC is also the nation's leading advocate of women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. Throughout the year, WBENC provides business development opportunities for member corporations, government agencies and more than 15,000 certified women-owned businesses at events and other forums. Learn more. 

 

About Women Owned

Women Owned is an initiative from WBENC and WEConnect International to create a movement of support for Women Owned businesses. We support female entrepreneurs and those who do business with them by raising awareness for why, where and how to buy Women Owned. Learn more. 

 


 

All data regarding the number of women-owned businesses can be found in the 2019 American Express State of Women-Owned Businesses Report. 

 

Tags:  NWSBM  partner  women-owned 

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Advocacy Update: FAR Council Rules That Matter To Your Business

Posted By Elizabeth Sullivan, WIPP Advocacy Team, Wednesday, October 16, 2019


This New FAR Council Rule on Covered Telecommunication Equipment Will Impact Your Business, Even Outside of the Tech Industry

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council has proposed an interim final rule that will amend the FAR to prohibit the Federal Government from procuring or obtaining, or extending or renewing a contract to procure or obtain, “any equipment, system, or service that uses covered telecommunications equipment or services as a substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system” in order to combat the national security and intellectual property threats that face the United States. The definition of “covered telecommunications equipment or services” are components from: Huawei, ZTE Corporation, Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, and Dahua Technology Company.  


For all businesses, the rule:

  • Prohibits contractors from providing covered telecommunications equipment or services unless the agency confirms that an exception applies or a waiver is granted 
  • Requires every offeror for a contract or order to represent whether or not it will provide covered telecommunications equipment or services as part of its offer and, if so, to furnish additional detail about the covered equipment or services 
  • Mandates that contractors report any covered equipment or services if discovered during the course of contract performance 

WIPP recognized the importance of this rule and the impact it will have on small business federal contractors. Read WIPP’s comments on this rule.
 

Proposed Rule on Lowest Price Technically Acceptable Source Selection Process (LPTA) from FAR Council Discourages Use of Practice Across Government

Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) has been a long hated acquisition pricing policy in the small business community. Seen as a “race to the bottom,” the FAR Council has issued a proposed rule to avoid using Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) source selection criteria in circumstances that would deny the Government the benefits of cost and technical tradeoffs in the source selection process. This rule also states specifically that LPTA source selection criteria should be avoided for procurements for IT services, cyber security, systems engineering services, and others.

 

Think this is a good idea?

 

Comment on this rule by December 2, 2019

 

Tags:  Advocacy  Federal Procurement  policy 

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Action Alert: Ask Your Legislators to Co-Sponsor Equity Bill

Posted By WIPP Advocacy Team, Wednesday, October 9, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2019

If a woman-owned firm wants to obtain a Small Business Administration (SBA) certification to participate in the Woman-Owned Small Business/Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB/EDWOSB) procurement program, she would not be able to obtain equity or venture capital funding.

This choice essentially forces women business owners to choose between participating in the federal marketplace through the WOSB/EDWOSB program or growing their business.

Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced the Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019 (S. 1981), which would allow women-owned contracting firms to take investment by women-owned equity firms and still meet the “51% unconditionally owned and controlled” standard set by SBA to participate in the WOSB/EDWOSB program.


Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL) introduced an identical bill in the House (H.R. 3633). The same barriers apply to minority-owned businesses and these bills also allow minority-owned federal contracting firms to take investment by minority-owned equity firms.

WIPPActionAlert Access to capital continues to be an ongoing challenge for women business owners. This groundbreaking legislation would open a path for investment in women-owned businesses who are government contractors, while also strengthening the role of women investors – giving them a reason to ask for greater equity positions within their firms. 

WIPP asks you to meet, call, or write your elected officials and ask them to support and co-sponsor the Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019.

Your Action Steps:

 


 

Call Your Legislators

If You Are Calling Your Senators:  

Reach the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121. Ask to be connected to the Senator’s office you are trying to reach.

 

Use this sample script:

 

“Hello. My name is ____________ and I am a constituent living in ____________. I am calling to urge Senator ____________ to support S.1981, the Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019. This bill would allow women-owned federal contracting firms to accept investment by women-owned equity firms.

 

As a woman entrepreneur, this change will not only help me grow my business, but will empower women investors by continuing to spur growth for women-owned equity firms.

 

Again, I urge Senator _____________ to expand venture capital access for women and minority business owners by co-sponsoring S.1981, the Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019.”

 

If You Are Calling Your Representative: 

Reach the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121. Ask to be connected to the Representative’s office you are trying to reach.

 

Use this sample script:

 

“Hello. My name is ____________ and I am a constituent living in ____________. I am calling to urge Representative ____________ to support H.R. 3633, the Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019. This bill would allow women-owned federal contracting firms to accept investment by women-owned equity firms.

 

As a woman entrepreneur, this change will not only help me grow my business, but will empower women investors by continuing to spur growth for women-owned equity firms.

 

Again, I urge Representative _____________ to expand venture capital access for women and minority business owners by co-sponsoring H.R. 3633, the Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019.”

 

 


 

Write Your Legislators 

If You Are Writing Your Senators:

Reach your Senators via email through a form on their website under “Contact.”

 

Use this suggested language:

 

Dear Senator ______,

 

My name is ____________ and I am a constituent living in ____________. I am writing to urge you to support S.1981, the Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019. This bill would allow women-owned federal contracting firms to take investment by women-owned equity firms.

 

As a woman entrepreneur, this change will not only help me grow my business, but it will strengthen the role of women investors – giving them a reason to ask for greater equity positions within their firms.

 

Please support expanding venture capital access for women and minority business owners by co-sponsoring S.1981, the Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

_______

 

If You Are Writing Your Representative: 

Reach your Representative via email through a form on their website under “Contact.”

 

Use this suggested language:

 

Dear Representative ______,

 

My name is ____________ and I am a constituent living in ____________. I am writing to urge you to support H.R. 3633, the Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019. This bill would allow women-owned federal contracting firms to take investment by women-owned equity firms.

 

As a woman entrepreneur, this change will not only help me grow my business, but it will strengthen the role of women investors – giving them a reason to ask for greater equity positions within their firms.

 

Please support expanding venture capital access for women and minority business owners by co-sponsoring H.R. 3633, the Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

_______

 

Tags:  Access to Capital  Action Alert  Advocacy 

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President's Message: Our Position Is Always As Your Resource

Posted By Candace Waterman, WIPP President & CEO, Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Last week I traveled from Michigan to Louisiana to New Mexico, presenting multiple workshops covering everything from advocacy training, building capacity, and parity for women-owned businesses in the federal government.

Candace Waterman (middle) stands with WBENC RPO leaders Dr. Pamela Williamson (WBEC-West) and Michelle Richards (GLWBC) I met many leaders and spoke with WIPP members across the nation who are wondering what will happen when Congress returns from recess next week. Specifically, what the impeachment proceedings could mean for our advocacy work. Understanding how things happen on Capitol Hill has never been more important, and WIPP has almost 20 years of relationships and experience in the halls of Congress. Our position will always be as your nonpartisan resource -- first and foremost.

I encourage WIPP Members to read Ann Sullivan's column this month and to join the Advocacy Team on their monthly Policy Update webinar next Wednesday, October 9 to learn about where we are on our WIPP Policy Priorities, including key legislation and appropriations as well as understanding the impeachment proceedings.

This month, we are working on bringing our resources to bear for members and the wider audience of women-owned businesses across the nation:

Access

October is National Women’s Small Business Month (#NWSBM) and we are thrilled to once again partner with the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) to showcase the landscape of certified WOSB/WBE women leaders. 

Each October, I love to remind our WIPP Members to check their status and their online profile. More than any other month, October is the time to ensure your WIPP Membership is updated and ensures we have the opportunity to highlight your company with our agency partners and the larger community. Not sure if you’re a member? Check your profile here.

Advocacy 

October is also National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (#BeCyberSafe), and we have been closely monitoring this topic in the federal contracting space. WIPP submitted comments last week on a draft of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), which would be mandatory in 2020 for every supplier and contractor working with the Department of Defense. Learn more.

We continue to work on moving The Women and Minority Equity Investment Act of 2019 through the Senate Small Business Committee as well as garnering more sponsors in for the companion House bill. 

And once again, I want you to know that WIPP is a national nonpartisan organization, and we approach all issues in a bipartisan manner. Our members identify along all varieties of political persuasion, but we all speak one language: Business.  

Education 

We have three WIPP member webinars this month:

I’m thrilled that we are at capacity for the ChallengeHER event on October 24 in Washington, D.C., but we still have room at the San Diego event on October 29. We also announced our ChallengeHER opportunities with American Express ® Contract Connections on November 14 and December 11. Learn more at ChallengeHER.us. 

Earlier this week, I read the 2019 State of Women-Owned Business Report, commissioned by American Express, and found that “between 2014 and 2019, the number of women-owned businesses climbed 21% to a total of nearly 13 million (12,943,400). Employment grew by 8% to 9.4 million. Revenue rose 21% to $1.9 trillion.”

Having built a career on the innate knowledge that women business owners are an unstoppable force, this statistic is encouraging. WIPP has been part of the fight to get seats at the table; we have forged alliances and partnerships; and we are now economically more visible than ever before. Thank you to our members, sponsors, and partners for continuing to support this mission! 

 

Tags:  Access  Advocacy  Education 

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Crisis Averted – At Least for Now

Posted By Ann Sullivan, WIPP Chief Advocate, Tuesday, October 1, 2019

October 1 marks a new fiscal year, FY2020, and the government will continue to be funded until November 21. Congress sent the continuing resolution (CR) to the President last Friday, who signed the bill into law before the September 30 deadline.

 

AnnSullivan

It is significant that during September, the Congress and the President agreed to two additional steps to bring stability to the budget process. Legislation to suspend the federal debt ceiling and set government spending levels for two years addressed issues that have proven to be problematic in the past. Budget bills, such as these, have provided opportunities for legislators and Presidents to hold government spending hostage to their demands. That’s not to say the demands don’t hold merit but shutting down the government is not without consequences.

 

Thirty-five days in length, the last government shutdown in January-February 2019 wreaked havoc on small federal contractors. According to a report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, The True Cost of Government Shutdowns, the last three shutdowns in cost taxpayers $4 billion—at least $3.7 billion of it in back pay to furloughed federal workers and $338 million in other costs such as lost revenue.

 

A statistic that government contractors certainly felt was the Congressional Budget Office estimate that the most recent shutdown delayed approximately $18 billion in federal spending for compensation and purchases of goods and services. Legislation was introduced this year to require compensation to low-wage workers employed by government contractors, including the Fair Compensation for Low-Wage Contractor Employees Act in the House and the Fair Compensation for Low-Wage Contractor Employees Act in the Senate. Although these efforts have yet to gain traction, it is a move applauded by many government contractors.

 

The angst that builds in Washington around the end of the fiscal year is justified. Even though our members have strategies in place to weather a shutdown storm, a government shutdown affects everyone in the supply chain. In addition to requiring contract modifications to keep providing services during a CR, it also delays grant awards and new projects.

 

There’s a whole new wrinkle in completion of federal funding for FY2020 that expires on November 21 – impeachment proceedings. Decisions on where the money is spent in the federal government is a key responsibility of the Congress, but it requires the President’s signature. Putting aside partisan wrangling is a requirement for getting this funding passed. Appropriations bills are determined by the Appropriations Committees in the House and the Senate. Since Democrats are in control of the House but Republicans are in control of the Senate, getting these bills to the finish line requires bipartisan cooperation. And, the President has to be willing to sign the legislation.

Senate appropriators say they can “walk and chew gum” at the same time, and have expressed their intentions to keep working to complete their work despite the impeachment proceedings.

 

Learn more about the implications of the impeachment process.

WIPP Members can join us on Wednesday, October 9 for the October Policy Update webinar.  

 

There is precedent for taking care of normal legislative matters while at the same time pursuing a major matter such as impeachment. In 1998 in the midst of then-President Bill Clinton’s pending impeachment investigation by the House, Clinton signed all of that year’s appropriations bills.

 

Where does this leave government contractors? Feeling pleased about averting a government shutdown until November 21, but cautiously optimistic about federal funding for FY2020 after November 21. Here’s where your advocacy comes in. Contact your Congressional delegation urging them to complete the appropriations process. Congress will need lots of encouragement by its constituents to stay the course and complete their work. The small business contracting community can ill afford another shutdown.

Tags:  Advocacy  Appropriations 

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more Calendar

9/21/2020
FountainHead: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Panel Event (VIRTUAL)

9/29/2020 » 10/1/2020
WIPP Virtual Symposium on Cyber Resiliency

10/14/2020
WIPP Advocacy Update - October 2020

10/19/2020
WIPP Intersectionality Series

10/21/2020
WIPP Community Connections - October 2020

Featured Members
Tina PattersonPrincipal, Jade Solutions, Germantown, MD — August 2020 Member Spotlight
Jeanette Prenger (Hernandez)President & CEO, ECCO Select, North Kansas City, MO — September 2020 Member Spotlight

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