U.S. Women’s Chamber Of Commerce Dismisses Long Standing Legal Claim Against U.S. Small Business Administration

Women Business Owners Look Forward to Business Growth with the Implementation of Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program

WASHINGTON, DC, March 14, 2011 – The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration jointly dismissed a long standing legal claim that was filed by the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce against the SBA in 2004 over the failure of the Bush Administration to implement the more than decade old Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program.

"It is only fitting that the final steps toward implementing the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program should happen during Women's History Month," said Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce.  "For more than a decade, women have waited for the Small Business Administration to carry out the will of Congress by implementing a contracting program that enables contracting officers, under certain conditions, to set-aside contract competitions between women-owned firms. We are confident this important program will help federal agencies to finally provide women-owned firms with fair access to federal contracts," adds Dorfman.

Recently the Small Business Administration published the final set of rules required to implement the WOSB Federal Contracting Program, completed necessary web-based tools to support the program, and published detailed educational documents for women business owners and contracting officers.  Within the next few weeks, the final regulations will be published in the Federal Acquisition Regulation, and contracting officers will begin using the Women-Owned Small Business Program to open the doors to greater competition and participation in federal contracting by women-owned firms.

"Women business owners have lost between $6-8 billion every year for more than a decade, as the federal government has been unable to reach the paltry five-percent goal for contracting with women-owned firms. The actions of President Obama, SBA Administrator Mills, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (the original author of the legislation), the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce, our legal team from Covington and Burling including Sarah Wilson (litigation), Linda Morgan (legislative) and Carrie Harney (regulatory) -- and a wealth of other important federal professionals, will be long remembered as lynchpins in the progress of women business owners securing fair access to federal contracts," concludes Dorfman.

“Federal contracting officers will finally have the tool they need to bring fair access to federal contracts for women-owned small businesses,” said Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce.  “Opening the doors to opportunity will enable women-owned firms to grow their revenues, sustain their employees, create new job growth, and support our U.S. economy.  I thank Administrator Mills for her strong leadership on this matter.”

The U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce will provide a full overview of the WOSB Federal Contracting Program at the upcoming Women's Business Summit on March 29, 2011 which is part of National Small Business Contracting Week.  Additionally, the women's chamber will announce awards to several active and accomplished women-owned firms for their federal contracting successes during this meeting.  Businesses interested in attending this meeting, or applying for award consideration should go to uswcc.org for additional details.

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The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce(TM) is the leading advocate for women on economic and leadership issues. The USWCC creates opportunities and change for women by building a strong community voice, advocating for members, and providing programs and benefits to support the economic growth of women across America. The USWCC is a not-for-profit 501(c)6 organization founded in 2001; its headquarters offices are located in Washington, D.C.  Contact the USWCC at 888-418-7922.

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