Jo Ann Kirby, VP of Public Policy for our chapter, reports on her participation of NAWBO Advocacy Day.
What a jam-packed, fabulous event! The activities actually started the night before at a cocktail reception where we heard from a number of organizations about the impact of women in business and women owned businesses. A representative from the National Women’s Business Council reviewed their 2016 Annual Report with us. Here are some interesting stats: 36.3% of all privately held businesses are women owned. They have a total of 8.4 employees and $1.4 TRILLION in receipts. Here is a link to the entire report:
There are some fascinating figures about percentages based on ethnicity and race, male vs female owned, etc. Worth the read.
The next day it was off to Capitol Hill. We met with staffers from the Senate Small Business Committee where they shared their activities and asked for input from our members. We also met with members of Senator Tim Kaine’s staff. There were so many of us, we overflowed the meeting room; this caught the attention of Senator Kaine’s Chief of Staff who popped in to talk with us as well.
We learned something very important this day. There is strength in numbers. If enough constituents are concerned about an issue, our law makers pay attention.
At lunch we heard from a number of Members of Congress and Senators who are friendly to NAWBO and the needs of Women Business Owners, as well as a Tax Policy Expert from the US Chamber of Commerce. The featured speaker was Linda McMahon, the new SBA Administrator. You may also know her as owner, along with her husband, of the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). She exhorted us all to revel in being the Wonder Woman we are.
In the afternoon, we met with the House Small Business Committee, in a similar format to our morning meeting. NAWBO members voiced concerns: access to capital, the continuing lack of the federal government to reach its goal of 5% of its business to come from small businesses as well as the definition of what a small business is. For example, a manufacturing company with 1000 employees is considered a small business.
Our members seem to be very much in favor of the “for every one new regulation, two must go”. There were concerns regarding proposed tax cuts of corporations. Since many small businesses are LLC’s , our taxes pass through to our personal returns and we would not be eligible for any of the cuts.
For the last meetings of the day, NAWBO members had the opportunity to meet with their own congressional members. NAWBO South Jersey had scheduled a meeting with Senator Corey Booker’s staff so fellow Chapter Member and former National President, Suzanne Pease, and I went as well, allowing our NAWBO delegation to provide a state-wide voice.
I received a copy of NAWBO’s 2017 Public Policy Agenda. It can be found here:
It was, overall, an amazing experience. I recommend any NAWBO member attend in the future. What goes on in Washington, what goes on in Trenton, affects us not only personally but professionally.