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News & Press: WIPP Policy Watch & Newsletters

WIPP In Action - October 2018

Thursday, October 4, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Laura Berry
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WIPP In Action

WIPP In Action
October 2018 Newsletter

President's Corner: Acknowledging Our Momentum

When you move your office or home, you have an enormous opportunity to purge, to prioritize, and to set a purpose. As I write this, I’m surrounded not only in the cardboard jungle of my own home move, but also several boxes from our WIPP headquarters, which is currently under renovation. Yet I am calm because I know we have a vision for where we are going.

As always, we are advocating for issues we believe in. We outlined several bills that need your attention in our Advocacy Action Alert this week. Call your Senators today—before the recess begins next week—and join us for our Policy Update next week to keep up-to-date on everything at stake this historic autumn.

This month, we will move toward intentionally recognizing our champion policymakers, highlighting our members' hard work, and thanking our diligent corporate partners and sponsors. We are purposefully acknowledging those who work so hard to ensure our members and all women-owned businesses succeed. October is National Women’s Small Business Month (#NWSBM), and we find it fitting that more women are running for federal office than ever before. As part of our social media this month, we are acknowledging our first group of #WIPPChampion policymakers. These are women policymakers who have championed legislation and opportunities with women-owned businesses in mind.

We continue to push ourselves to exceed expectations for our in-person education events, including our collaboration with the Department of Energy later this month in Miami for ChallengeHER. In addition to being one our largest registered events, we are expecting several VIP attendees, including GSA Administrator Emily Murphy.

On October 30, we will launch our inaugural WIPP Procurement Education Platform series, WIPP Wealth, in partnership with our sponsor Live Oak Bank. This session, Financing Growth, will be the first of four exclusive financial education sessions for our members, and we look forward to seeing how this platform will expand over the next year.

WIPP sits at an important intersection of policy and business—and just like any intersection, we will start and stop at times. Today our momentum is swelling, and I’m so excited for the month ahead and for taking that momentum into 2019. If you are not already a member, join us today. The time is now.


- Candace Waterman, WIPP President & CEO






 WIPP Works in Washington


In These Partisan Times, Is There Room For Bipartisanship?

We all know from the polls and cable talk shows that America has very different political views. The term "a country deeply divided" was heard everywhere last week as analysts and Twitter shared their views on the Supreme Court nomination hearing. The Senate Judiciary Committee reinforced this view by a display of unusual partisanship, showcasing the deep divide between the views of Republicans and Democrats with respect to a Supreme Court appointment.

So, in these partisan times, is there room for an organization like WIPP that strives to be as nonpartisan (or bipartisan) as possible when making policy recommendations? I often have joked that if we offend both sides, we must be doing our job. But seriously, are we outdated—have we lost touch with what our stakeholders and members expect? Is a bipartisan approach to public policy a loser? Should we be pivoting to either one side or the other to increase our effectiveness?

I was having dinner with a friend who was at an event with her Senator, a Republican. Someone asked him the same question—how could a Senator tout his effectiveness when everyone knows that no one in Washington works together? The Senator answered the question by saying that despite what gets reported on the news, Senators work with those in the other party to get things done. He went on to cite many examples of legislation he has worked on with a Democrat to pass into law.

As an advocate for women entrepreneurs, it is certainly harder to get legislative changes passed by Congress than it was a few decades ago. Before widely available technology, Congress depended on advocates to be the eyes and ears of their constituents. Now they hear directly from their constituents within minutes of a breaking news story. Technology has also transformed the ability for any Congressperson to get their message out to their constituents.

Today, these channels are far more expansive than decades ago, when the only media outlets were the four major networks. Now, messages can be communicated broadly through the use of multiple social media outlets and news channels. The Congress is also much more rule and procedure driven than it used to be. Senators used to craft amendments on the way to the floor of an important debate. Now, legislative language has to go to legislative council to draft—a process which is much more laborious. This is due in part to the loss of a collegial trust, which is the underpinning of an effective Congress.

But even in a contentious hearing, like the recent one on Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh, there were two Senators among all the others that came together to propose a bipartisan solution. That may not have been a popular decision for either side, but it is a glimpse of how this place really works most of the time. Despite all the partisan rhetoric that plays to the cameras and creates soundbites galore, work has to continue. House and Senate members generally work across the aisle to get agreement on legislation to secure passage. Although legislation can be passed on a strict party line vote by the majority, it is not advisable. The other party, which has no stake in the success of the legislation, is left to the worst outcome—tagging all their messaging and efforts against it to use as a rallying cry.

WIPP’s membership has women with strong political views and we reflect the divide on issues the rest of the country is experiencing. But we have learned that we can discuss contentious issues without getting personal. We have also learned that we can propose policy changes on which both sides can agree. Business issues, which is our focus, are generally less contentious than social issues—I’ll admit to that. But economic issues have not escaped partisanship.
Our goal at WIPP is to come up with solutions that make a difference for women entrepreneurs. For example, our advocacy on tax legislation did not tackle the broad question of whether tax reform was needed. Instead we focused on getting the Congress to recognize that most businesses are organized differently than large “C” Corps and thus should get different tax treatment. It was an issue that all of us could agree upon and was a significant policy change for the entire small business community.

I could give you many more examples of WIPP policy positions that made an impact and did not tap into the partisan sentiment surrounding the issue. WIPP works with all Members of Congress, regardless of their party. We work with political appointees in agencies when Administrations change. We are solution driven and we know it takes both sides to make a positive impact for women entrepreneurs.

It is my hope that we resist the temptation that afflicts many organizations in Washington, D.C.—to be bipartisan in name only. Women business owners are in a unique position to be the leaders in their communities and in the halls of Capitol Hill. By refusing to limit our efforts to those who agree with us or say what we want to hear, we are opening up the door to creative policy solutions.

Let's work together — there is plenty of room for those who want to find common ground. 


- Ann Sullivan, WIPP Chief Advocate

 Advocacy Action Alert

Contact Your Senators!

The House of Representatives recently passed a number of bills last week that will impact women-owned firms doing business with the federal government:

  • Expanding Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses Act (H.R. 6369)
  • Small Business Runway Extension Act (H.R. 6330)
  • Clarity on Small Business Participation in Category Management Act (H.R. 6382)
  • Incentivizing Fairness in Subcontracting Act (H.R. 6367)

Contact your Senators by phone or email—here are a few recommendations to better personalize your message:

  • If you have a relationship with a staff member in your Senator's district or Washington, D.C. office, be sure to share your message with them.
  • Include a few details regarding your business.
  • Share how one or all of the bills may impact your business or why it is important to your business.

Not sure what to say? Use this sample script:

My name is _____________, I am a constituent and [owner/founder/president] of [business name]. As a woman-owned small business, I am calling to urge the Senator to support a group of small business contracting bills that have just passed the House. H.R. 6369, H.R. 6330, H.R. 6382, H.R. 6367 are bills that expand sole source contracts to small firms, create more subcontracting incentives with prime contractors, and provide small businesses a better opportunity to do business with the federal government.
Please ask the Senator to assist women business owners and government contractors, like me, by championing these pieces of legislation in the Senate. Thank you for your time.

Please contact WIPP's Government Relations team at with any questions or if you receive follow up from your Senator's office on these bills. 

 News Roundup

Tax Reform 2.0 Bills Passed by the House

The House has been chipping away at leadership's Tax Reform 2.0 package over the last few weeks and have finally passed all three legislative components of the package.

  • The Family Savings Act of 2018 (H.R. 6757) focused on retirement security created Universal Savings Accounts, expanded Section 529 plans, and established for Multiple Employer Plans (MEPs) which would allow small businesses to join together to create and administer a 401(k) plan more affordably.
  • The American Innovation Act of 2018 (H.R. 6756) would allow startup businesses to write off more of their costs.
  • The Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act of 2018 (H.R. 6760) would make the individual and small business tax cuts enacted in 2017 permanent.

The Senate is unlikely to consider the bills until after the November elections. The retirement measure is seen as having the best chance of reaching the president’s desk.

IRS Releases Guidance on the New Employer Tax Credit

On September 24, the IRS released guidance on the New Employer Tax Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave. This guidance allows eligible employers who provide paid family and medical leave to their employees to qualify for a new business credit for tax years 2018 and 2019. The credit is part of the tax reform legislation passed by Congress in December 2017. Updates on the implementation of the tax reform legislation can also be found on the tax reform page of

The new guidance clarifies how to calculate the credit including the application of special rules and limitations. Additionally, only paid family and medical leave provided to employees whose prior-year compensation was at or below a certain amount qualify for the credit. The IRS also noted that for tax year 2018, the employee’s 2017 compensation from the employer must have been $72,000 or less.

White House Holds Economic Summit to Highlight Accomplishments

Last week the White House held an Economic Summit attended by small business owners, business leaders, and organizations, in which senior White House and Administration officials shared an overview of economic growth under President Trump. Director of the National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, led the discussion centered on the Administration's accomplishments in strengthening free market activity through tax reform and regulatory reform highlighting the positive impact on small and midsize businesses. The event also outlined the administration’s economic agenda moving forward. Watch a recording of the event's live stream.

More Small Business Are Opening Their Doors

The SBA Office of Advocacy recently published a fact sheet indicating that in 2017, more small businesses are opening than closing. The number of businesses in the U.S. increased by about 118,000 and in all, 975,000 new businesses had opened by the end of 2017. Business openings have also exceeded business closings for 28 consecutive quarters.

GAO Releases Report on Small Business Procurement Scorecard

The SBA releases annual scorecards in order to track government progress of allocating 23% of direct contract spending to small businesses. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on recommended actions to improve confidence in the procurement scorecard. GAO has recommended that SBA evaluate its new scoring methodology to assess how effectively the scorecards promote contracting opportunities for small businesses and measure agency performance.

 Events and Education




Give Me 5 Webinars:

  • 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. 



Webinar: GSA's Office of Professional Services and Human Capital (PSHC)

  • Industry Partner Webinar: "What's new and coming soon for
    prospective and awarded PSS Industry Partners"




Department of Energy Event

  • "DOE Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Opportunities Forum"


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:



 Join WIPP 

Women business owners should be heard loud and clear by policymakers in our Nation's Capital.





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WIPP Policy Update - December 2019

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WIPP Member Orientation - December 2019

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Featured Members
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Pamela O'RourkeFounder & CEO, ICON, Houston, TX — October 2019 Monthly Member Spotlight

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