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Senate Addresses Women’s Business Ownership

This week, the Senate approved S. Res. 280, a resolution recognizing October as National Women’s Small Business Month, while the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee passed the Women’s Business Ownership Act (S. 2126).

Women’s Small Business Month

On October 7, the Senate approved, by unanimous consent, S. Res. 280, sponsored by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA). The measure acknowledges that there are 9.9 million women-owned small businesses in the United States, and that such businesses have added 1.5 million jobs to the economy since 2007.

Among other provisions, the resolution “supports and encourages young women entrepreneurs to pursue their passions and create more start-up businesses,” and “recognizes the importance of creating policies that promote a business-friendly environment for small business owners that is free of unnecessary regulations and red tape.”

Women’s Business Ownership Act

Also on October 7, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee approved, by voice vote, S. 2126. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), would authorize Small Business Administration (SBA) grants to women’s business centers (WBCs) to remove traditional barriers to women-owned businesses, including barriers to access to capital and training.

Among other provisions, the legislation seeks to improve the transparency of the WBC’s financial processes, create public-private partnerships to support women entrepreneurs, and conduct outreach to, and education of, startup and existing small businesses.

The bill also would require the SBA administrator to consult with organizations representing WBCs for “advice, input, and recommendations for policy changes” with regard to training programs and the general operations and administration of the program.

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