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2019 WIPP Policy Pillars
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2019 WIPP Policy Pillars

 

 

These pillars represent the core issues critical to the success of women business owners and the areas of policy WIPP will focus on from an advocacy perspective.

  • Create parity for WOSBs in federal contracting
  • Invest in infrastructure improvements
  • Ensure fair tax treatment for all businesses
  • Increase access to capital for women-owned businesses
  • Rethink workforce development
  • Demystifying global markets

 

Create Parity for WOSBs in Federal Contracting

 

WIPP has tackled federal contracting issues since its inception.  Access to federal markets continues to be a challenge for WOSBs, given that the federal government has only met its modest goal of 5% awards to WOSBs once.  To remove these barriers, WIPP fought for implementation of the WOSB procurement program which gives federal agencies the authority to set aside contracts for WOSBs. In 2015, WIPP pressed for – and achieved – the swift implementation of sole source authority to the WOSB Procurement Program. WIPP’s efforts to level the playing field cuts across a wide set of issues relating to the government’s acquisition policy.  Without our advocacy, small businesses and WOSB businesses will continue to lose ground as procurements become larger and longer. One missing piece is good data on these large, multi-year contracts also known as MACs.  In addition, the government does not have sufficient data on whether subcontracting commitments have been met. A significant legislative victory was achieved in 2018, giving small firms more “runway” to transition out of the small business set aside program and into full and open competition. The law allows businesses to average revenues over 5 years rather than the previous 3 years for purposes of determining size standards.

WIPP will continue to advocate for changes to acquisition policies that will generate more contract awards to WOSBs. Current efforts include support for expanding sole source awards to small businesses, reinvigorating education and support for the WOSB procurement program in Congress and the agencies.
 

Invest in Infrastructure Improvements

 

Although the Congress and the President have yet to find a path forward on improvements to the nation’s physical infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and air traffic systems, technology infrastructure should also be considered part of any improvement plan. Any legislative proposals with respect to infrastructure improvements should require the transmittal of WOSB and small business goals contained in the Small Business Act to translate to every project.

 

Increase Access to Capital for Women-Owned Businesses

 

Capital is the lifeline of business. For women, however, accessing capital continues to be difficult. According to Pitchbook, although women received 4.9% of all VC deals, the dollar amount of these deals was just over 2% in 2016. Women only receive 4% of all commercial loan dollars.

  • Opportunity zones, created in the 2017 Tax Reform bill, provide a unique opportunity for investment in low income areas.  This new program should be expanded to include smaller and shorter-term investors.  Small businesses have traditionally been willing to take risks and provide opportunities in these areas.
  • WIPP will continue to support policies that encourage access to alternative financing options such as online lending, crowdfunding and expansion of the SBA’s Microloan program.

 

Ensure Fair Tax Treatment for All Businesses

 

WIPP provided the critical voice of women business owners in the tax code overhaul in 2017.  Congress, for the first time, addressed the taxation of pass-through entities (LLCs, S Corps and Partnerships), a hard-fought victory for WIPP.

  • We will continue to push for further modernization and simplification of the tax code to ensure deductions and credits are equitable no matter what the structure of the company. 

 

Rethink Workforce Development

 

Key to the success of women owned businesses is human capital – a dynamic workforce that meets the needs of an ever-changing business environment. Government and business need to work together to ready a workforce that can meet those challenges.

  • Beginning with early childhood education, inclusion of women in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) and gig workers, all require a pivot in public policies. These policy changes include taxation, education, privacy and labor laws. WIPP will urge Congress to appropriate funding and investment in STEM education in schools and prioritize investment in cybersecurity workforce development and training to address the current shortage of cybersecurity talent.
  • Women business owners are in a position of leadership when it comes to workplace equity. It is well documented that on average, women are promoted at a lower rate than men and are still paid 18.2% less than their male colleagues. WIPP believes fairness in the workplace should be the standard, where pay and advancement depends on the quality of work, not gender or the color of one’s skin. We will promote public policies that can help correct inequities but the need for education to change societal biases is imperative to the success of the workforce.

 

Demystify Global Markets

 

Of the more than $1.1 trillion exported in the U.S. each year, small businesses make up about one-third of export value, or $440 billion. Increasing trade between the U.S. and other countries will improve the economy and create jobs. However, not enough small businesses have access to opportunities in international markets: of the 27 million small businesses in the U.S. only around 265,000, or less than one percent, currently sell their products to foreign buyers.

While it is widely recognized that we live and operate in a global economy, access to global markets is not without its challenges for women owned businesses.  Issues such as intellectual property protections, trade agreements and country specific compliance requirements pose barriers to doing business beyond US borders. The federal government has several programs that help, such as SBA’s STEP program, but greater participation requires more resources in both the commercial and public sectors.  WIPP will work with the Congress and the Administration to increase these resources to WOSBs.

more Calendar

11/20/2019
WIPP Member Orientation - November 2019

12/11/2019
WIPP Policy Update - December 2019

12/11/2019
ChallengeHER Virtual Contract Connections

12/18/2019
WIPP Member Orientation - December 2019

12/19/2019
WEP Training - Managing Your LinkedIn Content in 2020

Featured Members
Denita R. ConwayPresident & CEO, PROVEN Management, Washington, D.C. — November 2019 Monthly Member Spotlight
Pamela O'RourkeFounder & CEO, ICON, Houston, TX — October 2019 Monthly Member Spotlight

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