Florida Congresswoman Wants to Reauthorize the Interagency Committee on Women’s Business Enterprise

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    U.S. Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., is backing a proposal she insists will “help increase support to female entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses.”

    Last week, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, D-NY, introduced the “Interagency Committee on Women’s Business Enterprise Act” with Salazar, U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Penn., and U.S. Rep. Young Kim, R-Calif., as co-sponsors. The bill “would reauthorize the Interagency Committee on Women’s Business Enterprise (ICWBE), a U.S. government entity charged with coordinating federal resources to help women-owned businesses grow and succeed.”

    “It is imperative that we do everything possible to help our small businesses rebound from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and that includes women-owned businesses,” said Meng on Monday. “Helping women business owners succeed and thrive is a ticket to helping ensure a strong economy as well as creating jobs and spurring innovation, and our bipartisan legislation would make sure that women entrepreneurs can access the critical government resources they need to help them start, grow, and sustain their businesses. Our government must be there to help our women-owned businesses, especially as we work to put COVID-19 in the rearview mirror, and I thank Rep. Salazar, Rep. Houlahan and my Senate colleagues for partnering with me on this crucial bill. I look forward to the measure moving through the House and Senate.”

    “Women own one in every three small businesses and that number has only grown over the last year,” said Salazar. “We must continue to work together to give women the resources and tools to further fuel this entrepreneurial spirit. I am proud to join Congresswoman Meng in introducing this bipartisan legislation that will build economic strength for women at a time when it is needed most.”

    “This pandemic has been devastating for women in the workforce,” said Houlahan.“To rebuild successfully, we must invest in America’s working women. An investment in working women is a guaranteed way to boost our economy, spark job creation, and begin to build a more equitable economy. There’s a reason this legislation is both bipartisan and bicameral – elected leaders recognize the economic importance of supporting working women, particularly in the wake of this pandemic. As an entrepreneur myself, I know firsthand the barriers women face when building a business, and that, despite the passage of time, those barriers are still very much in place. That’s why this legislation is so crucial, so that we can begin to dismantle those barriers and build mechanisms to encourage and support women’s participation in our economy.”

    Over in the U.S. Senate, U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., is championing the bill with the hell of U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Mary., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Tim Scott, R-SC.

    “As we work to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, we should be doing everything we can to help businesses grow and create jobs in their communities, especially women-owned businesses,” said Duckworth. “I’m proud that we’ve come together in a bipartisan manner to introduce this legislation, which would help level the playing field for women entrepreneurs and business owners by making sure they have access to resources across federal agencies. It would also make sure the federal government shares and implements best practices so women can start and expand their businesses and keep contributing to our economy.”

    A host of groups, including Women Veterans Business Coalition (WVBC), Small Business Majority, Center for American Entrepreneurship, Women Construction Owners and Executives (WCOEUSA), National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity (CAMEO), GovEvolve, HUBZone Contractors National Council, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) and Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization (WEDO), are backing the proposal.

    The legislation was sent to the U.S. House Small Business Committee and the U.S. Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.


    Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.



    • Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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