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Gillibrand, Meng, Stavisky, Rozic, Queens Entrepreneurs Push for Federal Legislation Expanding Access and Opportunities for Women-Owned Small Businesses

NYC WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES WOULD HAVE RECEIVED AN ESTIMATED $56 MILLION MORE IN ECONOMIC REVENUE IN 2013 IF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MET EXISTING GOAL OF AWARDING 5 PERCENT OF FEDERAL CONTRACTS TO WOMEN-OWNED SMALL BIZ

Fresh Meadows, NY, August 11, 2014 – Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Grace Meng, along with State Senator Toby Stavisky, Assemblymember Nily Rozic, Amy Williams, Chief Operating Officer of Data Conversation Laboratory, and an owner of a Queens woman-owned small business urged the U.S. Senate to pass federal legislation that would expand access and opportunities for women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) seeking federal contracts. This legislation would help level the playing field for hundreds of City WOSBs who want to access the sizeable market of federal contracts.

Women-owned businesses are one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy – nearly 30 percent of all Queens firms are owned by women, according to the latest Census data – but they are systemically shortchanged in terms of being able to access the market of government contracting. More than two decades ago, Congress set a goal of awarding 5 percent of federal contracts to women-owned small businesses. Last year, nationwide, women-owned small businesses once again fell short of that goal with only 4.3 percent of contracts awarded. Across New York City, it was even lower, according to data from Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), at an anemic 1.48 percent of all federal contract dollars. If women-owned businesses had received the existing 5 percent goal, City women-owned small businesses would have grown their revenue by approximately $56 million dollars.