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Economic influence

Management | August 1, 2014 | By:

A bill for women-owned small businesses; SBA award winners; new AAFA president.

Legislation to encourage women’s business ownership and give women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) more opportunities to win federal contracts was introduced in late June by U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D–NH), Maria Cantwell (D–WA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D–NY).

The Women’s Small Business Procurement Parity Act would support additional contracting for WOSBs by removing the sole-source authority restriction on the WOSB procurement program to give it parity with other small business federal contracting programs and help meet the 5 percent WOSBs contracting goal.

The National Women’s Business Council commended Senators Shaheen, Cantwell and Gillibrand for making women’s procurement parity a priority, encouraging lawmakers to provide the necessary resources to both implement and ensure parity across the board and throughout government contracting programs supporting small businesses. In support of the act, the following statement was released from Carla Harris, NWBC chair:

“Women’s economic parity must continue to be at the forefront of policymakers’ efforts to move our economy in the right direction. Women-owned small businesses contribute significantly to our country’s economy. Policies such as the Women’s Small Business Procurement Parity Act will enable women small business owners to significantly increase their contracting competitiveness, enhance their business and economic stability and further fuel their ability to contribute jobs to our economy. Economic stability isn’t a women’s issue; it’s an economic issue. In order to spur economic growth, there must be a continuation of innovative polices like the Women’s Small Business Procurement Parity Act to support the rapidly growing population of women entrepreneurs, who are leading our country in entrepreneurship.”

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SBA honors
influential companies

Intuitive Surgical Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif., and Ultra-Scan Corp., Buffalo, N.Y., were recently inducted into the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Hall of Fame of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Both companies are past participants of the SBIR program honored for the critical role they played in research and development for the government and for their success in driving innovation and creating new jobs.

They were honored among 25 high-tech small businesses in industries spanning medical devices, security and robotics, receiving the SBA Tibbetts award. The Tibbetts Awards are named after Roland Tibbetts, who helped develop the SBIR program. They are presented to U.S. companies and individuals who participate in or support the SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Winners are selected based on the economic impact of their technological innovation, and on whether they have met federal research and development needs, encouraged diverse participation in technological innovation, and increased the commercialization of federal research.

“It is the innovative entrepreneurs and high growth small businesses like our award recipients and Hall of Fame inductees who help power our economy and move it forward by creating new jobs and making our industries globally competitive,” said Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA administrator. “Their accomplishments remind us all of how integral the success of high growth small businesses are to making our country more globally competitive.”

The SBIR/STTR programs accounted for more than $2.5 billion in FY 2013 in federal research and development funds and are coordinated by the SBA in cooperation with 11 federal agencies.

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New president, CEO for AAFA

Effective July 1, Juanita D. Duggan assumed the position of president and chief executive officer of the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA), Arlington, Va. She joined AAFA after three years as policy director at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Shreck LLC, where she worked with the retail sector, among several clients.

As an experienced trade association executive and lobbyist, Duggan’s 25 years of experience include multi-industry advocacy, fundraising, and representing several industries as primary spokesperson. She also served as a special assistant to President Bush Sr. for cabinet affairs and to President Reagan for domestic policy and public liaison.

AAFA is the national trade association representing the U.S. apparel and footwear industry. For more information, visit

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