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SBA Op-Ed: Fighting for Five--Women March Forward in Business during Women’s History Month
Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX,Victor Parker
Fighting for Five: Women March Forward in Business during Women’s History Month
Just in time for Women’s History Month 2016, for the first time ever, government met its five percent statutory goal for contracts awarded to women-owned small businesses. Meeting this goal means five percent is our floor going forward – not our ceiling. According to a recent Census Bureau report, women’s business ownership rates are up 27 percent over five years. Women now employ eight million American workers and their businesses generate nearly 1.4 trillion dollars in receipts.
Last Fiscal Year 2015, the federal government achieved history by awarding the highest percentage of contracting dollars to small businesses, supporting more than a half-million jobs in neighborhoods like yours. Ninety point seven billion dollars were injected into the economy via small business contracts, and 17.8 billion of those dollars were awarded to women-owned small firms.
Woman-Owned Small Business, Décor Interior, Design, Inc., earned her fair share of federal contracts with SBA. Led by Ronda Jackson, Decor Interior Design Inc. is a Los Angeles-based, SBA 8(a) certified, woman-owned facility resource company specializing in tenant improvements, interior support and grounds maintenance. Recognized as a leader in the community, Ronda was nominated for the Women Making a Difference Award in 2013 by the Los Angeles Business Journal and served on the board for the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers as Professional Development Director. We look forward to more success stories like Ronda’s through SBA’s ChallengeHER and InnovateHER initiatives.
The federal government also set a new record by awarding more than 10 percent of contracting dollars to small disadvantaged businesses – more than doubling the five percent goal set by Congress. This includes our growing number of minority-owned firms. And finally, Uncle Sam also broke the record for contract awards to business owned by service-disabled veterans – totaling nearly 4 percent of the federal spend. That’s 33 percent above the goal set by Congress. Our veterans fought heroically on the battlefield, and now they’re fighting to grow our economy here at home.
Small businesses are nimble and ground-breaking partners for the federal government. Through small business contracting, the federal government spurs small business growth and innovation, while supporting the economic security of the nation. To keep America strong, we must keep our local economies strong. And the single greatest role we can play to support small employers is to give them more business.