Advocacy News

H.R. 5050 - The Bill that Changed it All

Spotlight on H.R. 5050 The Bill That Changed Everything for Women Business Owners

Why we care about Advocacy

What is political advocacy? Political advocacy is the ability of a group of individuals (or a sole individual) to influence and impact decisions being made about legislation that can or will socially and/or economically affect them.

Why should I support my chapter’s political advocacy efforts? NAWBO is always listening out for opportunities to weigh in on business-impacting policy issues at the federal and state levels that affect how women in business manage and grow their companies today, tomorrow and beyond. By working together, NAWBO members ensure that our nation’s economy is moved forward by the galvanized efforts of women in business. In this way, every member counts.

Why does NAWBO continue to participate in political advocacy initiatives? Because NAWBO is the largest voice for women in business in the United States, policymakers and influencers take our calls, hear our concerns and make time to meet with us. In other words, NAWBO gets access to the people who can set change in motion, or bring harmful policies to a halt. As a NAWBO member, you are part of a collective force for women in business that is listened to and gets results.

Can one member really make difference? When NAWBO members work together to advance our political advocacy efforts, we amplify our voices and we mobilize our shared business goals. The victories are much more rewarding when we all share in the wins. Even when we miss the mark, we all learn and grow from the experience and prepare for the next opportunity to make a difference for women in business. We listen to each other, support each other and help each other thrive in business and in life.

Do I have to know politics in order to participate in political advocacy? NAWBO has tons of resources to help you feel more confident in navigating the political system and understanding what it means to be an active advocate. But, you do not need to have a background in politics, or even be politically active to support political advocacy initiatives at NAWBO’s chapter and national levels. All you need is a passion to help other women business owners succeed.

Will my political party affiliation affect my being able to support our political advocacy efforts? NAWBO’s advocacy efforts at the state and federal levels are always non-partisan. We represent the interests of women in business, irrespective of party affiliation. We encourage open communication about business issues and opportunities that are applicable to every woman business owner and discourage discussions that attempt to divide us based on party affiliations and political doctrines.

What We Do

NAWBO provides a platform for women business owners to come together as one voice that translates into a formidable economic force and an effective agent for change in the business environment.  On the national level, NAWBO represents small and women-owned businesses through Congressional testimony, public policy conferences and member education.  

Through NAWBO Greater Raleigh, women business owners in the Triangle can take an active role in communicating their business issues to our Federal, state, and local legislators through the following activities:

  • Annual public policy luncheon: This annual luncheon provides an up close and interactive forum for chapter members to meet with influential leaders in public policy.  Past luncheons have featured Elaine Marshall, NC Secretary of State; Janet Cowell, now NC State Treasurer; Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker; and a number of our state representatives.
  • NAWBO National Public Policy Days:  Each year NAWBO Greater Raleigh members join with other NAWBO members from across the country in DC to discuss best practices, learn more about current legislation, and lobby our Federal Representatives and Senators on issues related to women-owned and small business.
  • Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) Instant Impact Team:  NAWBO Greater Raleigh members are invited to participate in North Carolina's Instant Impact Team, one of the first in the country. The team focuses on issues for women-owned business in North Carolina as well as nationally. 
  • Greater Raleigh Chapter Day at the State Legislature: With our state legislators meeting right in our backyard, the Greater Raleigh members take a day each year to go to the Legislative building for face-to-face meetings with our Representatives and Senators.

Announcements and Alerts

As a part of the overall effort to stimulate the economy, the new Administration has launched several key initiatives to aid small businesses, including but not limited to:

  • A $15 billion commitment by the Treasury Department to help unlock the secondary markets for small business loans to ease the credit crunch
  • Immediate implementation of two key provisions that will temporarily eliminate certain Small Business Administration loan fees and raise guarantee levels on some loans to prompt lenders to re-engage with small business owners in need of capital 
  • Guidance from the IRS for an expanded “carryback” provision that will offer many small businesses tax refunds  

Policies and Positions
NAWBO has focused on public policy issues of national and statewide interest impacting women entrepreneurs and small businesses since 1975. By attending White House events, providing Congressional testimony, holding advocacy conferences, developing reports, and educating members, NAWBO has consistently brought the concerns of women business owners to our lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

In 1988, NAWBO played a key role in the passage of The Women's Business Ownership Act, also known as H.R. 5050. This landmark legislation allowed women to receive business loans without the co-signature of a male relative. H.R. 5050 also created the National Women's Business Council, a body of women entrepreneurs and women's organizations that provides counsel to the President and Congress.

Increased Federal Procurement for Women Business Owners
Currently, only three percent of federal contracts go to women-owned businesses. NAWBO is strongly advocating raising that number to the five percent minimum established in 1994. 

Access to Affordable Health Care

NAWBO supports affordable health insurance offerings for small businesses that will lower costs and promote multi-year predictability for women business owners and their employees.

Fair and Equitable Tax Treatment for Small Businesses
Legislation should be enacted to ensure tax equity and basic fairness for all forms of small business organizations. The privilege of deducting legitimate business expenses should no longer be based upon the entity chosen to operate the business. 

Legislative Action
NAWBO takes strategic stands on the latest legislative issues affecting women business owners. The Legislative Action Center puts bold action at the fingertips of each NAWBO member, delivering the latest policy briefs into member in-boxes and providing meaningful contact with elected officials with just one click.

NAWBO provides a platform for women business owners to come together as one voice. That voice translates into a formidable economic force and an effective agent for change in the business environment. 

Visit the National NAWBO Legislative Action Center to get current information on Elected Officials, Issues and Legislation providing current legislation, key votes, and communication basics, and Election Guides with information down to the local level. 

For information about the North Carolina Legislature, visit the North Carolina General Assembly Web site.

Other useful sites for North Carolina businesses:

NC Secretary of State 

NC Department of Revenue 

NC Department of Commerce

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