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WIPP's July 2018 Newsletter

Wednesday, July 11, 2018  
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WIPP's July 2018 Newsletter

WIPP MISSION STATEMENT

 
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WIPP Newsletter

July 2018

 

President's Corner: The Power of WIPP’s Voice in Action

As a business owner, part of what makes you successful is staying abreast of what is going on in your industry, with your customers or clients, and within your company to ensure you can take advantage of any opportunities ahead or prepare for any changes on the horizon.  At WIPP, we too are consistently keeping our ear to the ground and eyes open to changes in policy and the impact it may have on businesses like yours. 

At the core of WIPP’s mission is to advocate for public policy that supports women business ownership by creating economic opportunities and a favorable regulatory environment. This past month highlighted the power of WIPP in action. 

  • When the SBA Inspector General issued an audit report on the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Procurement Program last month that highlighted issues with implementation of sole source authority in that program. WIPP led the response, calling on Congress and the SBA to encourage federal agencies to use the WOSB program and simplify the requirements, which have proven to be confusing.
  • As Congress debated workforce development programs and how to address the skills gap in various hearings, WIPP spoke up with a letter to policymakers about ensuring women business owners have a role in these discussions and sharing recommendations on how to create a skilled, qualified workforce for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
  • After the Department of Labor issued their final rule on Association Health Plans (AHPs) last month, WIPP was among the first to spread the word to our network about the details and impact of AHPs on the health insurance market and cost of coverage for business owners.

All of the above are a testament to the ways in which WIPP takes action on your behalf. We know that your time is best spent running and growing your business. However, we know the impact that a new regulation, tax or change to a government program can have on your bottom line.

That is why WIPP has spent years building key relationships with lawmakers and their staff to afford WIPP the access and clout needed to be at the table to affect change on legislation, regulations and key policy initiatives. It is this collaborative spirit that has made WIPP successful thus far and makes people want to continue to be involved. We invite you to add your voice and join WIPP as we continue the great work of this organization on behalf of women business owners across the country.

- Candace Waterman, WIPP President & CEO

@CandaceWaterman

 

 WIPP Works in Washington

 

A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action, Please

 

by Ann Sullivan, WIPP Chief Advocate - @AnnSullivanMSGI

Some days I feel talked to death. The 24-hour news cycle, Twitter, Congressional hearings, roundtables, forums - you name it – everyone’s talking. But to quote an Elvis Presley song, “a little less conversation, a little more action, please.”

Congressional inaction didn’t start yesterday. The budget process has been broken for some time. In fact, Congress passed all 12 appropriations bills by the October 1st deadline (the beginning of the fiscal year) just four times in the last 40 years. However, from 2011 to 2016, not a single appropriations bill passed by itself. For the last 7 out of 10 years, Congress has failed to pass a budget. Finally, the last time the Congress passed all 12 of its appropriations bills was 1994.

The same goes for legislation. Historically, this session of Congress is on pace to pass the least amount of legislation in the last 50 years. Congress has passed 194 pieces of legislation signed into law during the first 18 months of the 115th session of Congress. Of those 194, 23 bills were symbolic or ceremonial. Roughly 1.7% of bills introduced this session of Congress have become law, compared to 4.5% of bills in the 105th session (under President Clinton), and 3.3% of bills in the 110th session (under President George W. Bush.)

No one knows better than Congressional Members that the system is broken – especially its fundamental budget responsibility. A little-known effort is commencing on Capitol Hill – the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform. This Committee, comprised of House and Senate Members of both parties, is tasked with recommendations to reset the way Congress budgets and appropriates the taxpayers’ money. Recently, the Committee asked Members of Congress to share recommendations and Speaker Paul Ryan testified that the Congress should do a biennial budget. Others suggested getting rid of the Budget Committee, indexing spending to a percentage of the gross national product and eliminating the debt ceiling vote by making it automatic. What struck me most listening to the hearing was the bipartisan interest in fixing the budget process.

Two former Senate Leaders, Tom Daschle (D) and Trent Lott (R), currently lead the Commission on Political Reform as part of their work at the Bipartisan Policy Center. They have shared three recommendations to address the gridlock:

  1. Move to a two-year budget cycle, allowing more time for Members to understand programs under their jurisdiction in-depth;
  2. Get rid of the Senate filibuster but make the majority 60 votes, not 51 votes;
  3. Have a minimum number of amendments that can be offered to legislation, thus encouraging Members to get involved in legislating.

Being an eternal optimist, I believe the Congress can fix the process. One small ray of hope is the Senate Appropriations Committee, which is moving its bills at a much faster clip than we have seen in many years. I anticipate the Joint Select Committee on Budget Reform will produce serious recommendations.

Changing the rules will lead to action. Members of Congress will get back to legislating and time will be spent considering serious issues that need resolution. Getting back to an action-oriented Congress would be the first step toward more action and less talk.

 

Legislative Spotlight!

Senator Heidi Heitkamp Introduces Bill to Reauthorize the Interagency Committee on Women's Business Enterprise

 

Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) has introduced S. 3165, a bill to reauthorize the Interagency Committee on Women’s Business Enterprise. This Committee was created by an Executive Order in 1979, and played a vital role in monitoring, coordinating, and promoting programs within federal agencies that support and strengthen women's business ownership. By reauthorizing this Committee, which has been defunct, it will renew focus on the importance of women in business and encourage key departments and agencies to continue to provide women in business access to technical assistance, government contracts, financial support via grant and loan programs, and business training. 

WIPP has submitted a letter of support for Senator Heitkamp's legislation reauthorizing this Committee.  

 

To learn more, take a look at the Executive Order establishing the Interagency Committee on Women's Business Enterprise.

 

 

 News Roundup

Trump Administration Freezes Billions of Dollars in Payments to Affordable Care Act Risk Adjustment Program

Over the weekend, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a statement saying it was halting billions of dollars of payments to insurers under the Affordable Care Act's risk adjustment program due to conflicting federal court decisions on the program. This move will likely disrupt the insurance market in the Exchanges and could lead to more premium increases next year.

The purpose of the risk adjustment program, a permanent program, is to reduce the incentive for health insurers to select and cover only healthy individuals in the Exchanges. It shifts money from plans with healthier members to those with larger numbers of sicker members to help mitigate high costs of coverage for less healthy individuals. 

America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the association for insurance carriers, expressed concern and stated, "the decision will have serious consequences for millions of consumers who get their coverage through small businesses or buy coverage on their own. It will create more market uncertainty and increase premiums for many health plans—putting a heavier burden on small businesses and consumers, and reducing coverage options. And costs for taxpayers will rise as the federal government spends more on premium subsidies."

The CMS has asked for additional guidance from the district judge overseeing the case relating to this program, prior to unfreezing the funds.  

 

New $100 Million Investment Fund for Women Entrepreneurs of Color

SheaMoisture haircare and skincare products founder Richelieu Dennis announced a $100 million fund for women entrepreneurs of color at the 2018 Essence Festival last week. The New Voices Fund would invest in minority women entrepreneurs. In addition to access to funding, Dennis wants to provide entrepreneurs with other resources to help their companies achieve success. Learn more!

 

 Webinars and Events

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Give Me 5 Upcoming Webinars/Virtual Mentoring:

  • July 18th, 2:00pm ET - Life After 8(a): How to Continue to Grow Your Federal Business After Exiting the 8(a) Program with LaJuanna Russell, President & CEO of Business Management Associates. Learn how Russell used the 8(a) program as a springboard for obtaining government contracts and growing her business. Russell will share her "secret sauce" to effective entrepreneurial leadership and sustainable—but aggressive — business growth. Click here to register!
  • August 1st, 2:00pm ET - Virtual Mentoring: Life After 8(a) with LaJuanna Russell. Take advantage of this opportunity to chat live with LaJuanna Russell following her July 18th webinar on how to continue to grow your federal business after exiting the 8(a) program. Click here to register!
  • August 22nd, 2:00pm ET - Straight Answers About How the Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation (FPDS-NG) Support GovCon Business Development with Guy Timberlake, Chief Visionary of the American Small Business Coalition.  Timberlake will discuss and demonstrate how FPDS-NG is a powerful tool companies can leverage to support the development of insights, intelligence and relationships associated with finding and winning federal contract and subcontract opportunities. Click here to register!

 

 

SCORE Webinar: Too Many Hats? How to Juggle the Different Roles of Owning a Small Business

  • July 26th, 1:00pm ET –  Are you exhausted by wearing too many hats as a small business owner? Managing marketing and PR, to bookkeeping and sales, can prevent you from running your business. Robin Blakely, CEO of Creative Center of America, will demonstrate an easy-to-implement strategy to stop common hat-juggling chaos, and establish a sense of professional calm. You’ll learn how to focus on the hat that will positively impact your bottom line, remedy the hat issues that rob your energy and forward-motion, define powerful action steps that help secure your vision of success, and identify the importance of creating a scalability strategy. Click here to register!

WIPP hosts a variety of educational and informational webinars on a variety of topics aimed at helping women bolster their business. Check out our roster of upcoming webinars here.

WIPP has an extensive catalog of helpful recorded webinars you can explore and a number of upcoming events around our popular Give Me 5 initiative. View them whenever you have a free minute!

 

ChallengeHER

Our calendar of ChallengeHER events is filling up! These events are in-person and held around the country. They are designed to give women business owners the information they need to know to succeed in government contracting. Visit our website to learn more about the program.

Upcoming events:

 

 

 Amplify Your Voice: Join WIPP today!

 
Help us ensure that the voice of women business owners is heard loud and clear by policymakers in our nation's capital.


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