US bill to boost women-owned businesses gathers support

26 June 2013

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26 June 2013 | Adam Leach

The US Women's Chamber of Commerce (USWCC) has put its full support behind a bill that is calling for an end to self-certification of women-owned businesses.

Under the Procurement Program Equalization Act, submitted to Congress last week by Democrat Nydia Velásquez, businesses wishing to be classed as women-owned would be certified by either a federal agency, state government or third party approved by one of the two bodies. By bringing an end to self-certification, womenowned businesses should be able to compete more fairly to win work.

As the USWCC came out in full support of the bill, its CEO Margot Dorfman said: “Women business owners lose billions of dollars every year as the federal government fails to meet its own modest goals for contracting with women owned-firms. The Procurement Program Equalization Act will help level the playing field and energise womenowned-firms as our country works hard to revitalise our economy.”

The bill also calls for changes that would enable more contracts to be awarded to women-owned businesses through sole source contracts, provided certain criteria and value thresholds are met, to boost their participation in under-represented areas or industries. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Small Business for consideration.

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