We should not be facing this current predicament, however. On December 21, 2000, a women’s contracting program (P.L. 106-554) was enacted into law to provide Federal agencies with critical tools that would aid them in meeting their women-owned small business goals. Yet as of today – after three Congressional reports, numerous Congressional hearings, two proposed rules, one highly deficient final rule and nearly a decade – the necessary regulations to help women entrepreneurs remain unimplemented. Year after year it seems my calls for leveling the playing field for women entrepreneurs have gone unanswered.
To bring this crucial issue back to the forefront, I recently sent a letter to Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Karen Mills urging the Obama Administration to quickly address this glaring inequity that exists for women-owned small businesses. The Administration is missing a valuable opportunity to boost our nation’s economy by promoting women-owned small businesses, and it is my hope that they will act speedily in promulgating meaningful and effective regulations to once and for all put this program into place.
It is well past time we recognize the promise that women-owned small businesses hold for our future economic prosperity. And to realize that potential, the SBA must swiftly develop a functioning procurement program that helps eliminate barriers and gives women-owned small businesses the critical tools they require to help grow our slumping economy.