SHAHEEN, CANTWELL AND GILLIBRAND ANNOUNCE INCLUSION OF WOMEN’S SMALL BUSINESS PROCUREMENT PARITY ACT IN NATIONAL DEFENSE BILL

Provision would boost women’s small business ownership

December 04, 2014

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) today announced that the Women’s Small Business Procurement Parity Act has been included in the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Their legislation would encourage women’s business ownership and give women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) more opportunities to win federal contracts. It would provide tools available under other contracting programs to help federal agencies meet the goal of awarding 5 percent of all federal contracts to WOSBs.

“While women continue to make significant strides in our economy, they are still under represented as small business owners and federal contractors,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “This provision will help women-owned small businesses in New Hampshire and across the country win federal contracts, encouraging greater small business ownership by women and economic growth across the board. I hope we can pass this bill and send it to the President as quickly as possible.”

“This change in law is a major crack in the glass ceiling for 8 million women-owned businesses. It opens up a market opportunity of $4 billion in U.S. government contracts for women entrepreneurs,” said Senator Cantwell. “It will also help ensure the federal government fully upholds its commitment to invest in women-owned businesses, creating many new jobs in the U.S. economy.”

“Women who own small businesses are such an important part of our economy, and this new piece of legislation is going to make sure that the number of women-owned small businesses continues to expand into the future,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “It is great news for the country that the Women’s Small Business Procurement Parity Act was added to the NDAA this year.”

Although women make up more than half of the U.S. population, only about 30 percent of businesses are owned by women in the United States. The provision included in this year’s NDAA would support additional contracting for WOSBs by giving the WOSB procurement program parity with other small business federal contracting programs. It would also help the federal government meet its goal of awarding 5 percent of contracts to WOSBs – a goal that was set two decades ago and has never been reached.