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Friday, May 27, 2005

A Win for Women

Hat tip to Sandy at LUTD.

As Pamela at LUTD posted on 5/24, Senator John Kerry (ranking member of the Small Business Committee) has been pressuring the Small Business Administration to implement the Women's Contracting Program.

Yesterday, the SBA announced it would finally "take the necessary steps to implement a program to increase federal contracting opportunities for women-owned businesses".

The goal is to ensure that 5% of the dollar value of federal contracts are supplied by women-owned small businesses; Kerry cites estimates by The Center for Women’s Business Research "that as of 2004, there are an estimated 6.7 million privately-held, majority (51 percent or more) women-owned firms. They account for 30 percent of all privately-held firms in the country, generate $1.19 trillion in sales, and employ 9.8 million people nationwide." But, as Kerry states in his letter of 5/24:
The Administration continues to fall well short of the 5 percent government-wide goal for women-owned business participation in federal procurement, costing women-owned businesses approximately $6.5 billion per year. One of the barriers to increasing the number of contracts awarded to women-owned businesses found by the GAO, and cited in the NAS report, was "the absence of a specific program targeted to women-owned businesses." Any further delay in implementing the legislation, which is already will overdue, will continue to prevent this nation's women-owned businesses from receiving their fair share of Federal contracts.

Learn More - Related links:

The requirement for a Women's Contracting Program was originally created in H.R.4577 of the 106th Congress, which became Public Law (P.L.) 106-554 on 12/21/2000. The "Procurement Program For Women-Owned Small Business Concerns" is found at the end of the document, section 811.

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