- Omnibus Spending Bill
- Sphere of Influencers update
- Entrepreneur Spotlight: Jessicurl
- Further reading
The Omnibus Spending Bill approved on March 22 held surprising good news for small business. The SBA saw small increases for both the Women’s Business Center – from $17m to $18m- and the Small Business Development Centers – from $125m to $130m – 5.8% and 4% increases respectively. The often-eliminated PRIME program for lower income communities was preserved at $5 million. The SBA overall fared relatively well, which is a sign that the Republican legislators in both houses value its mission.
Even more surprising, the allocation for USDA’s Rural Development was increased by 42% from $24 million to $34 million. A large portion of this funding benefits small business development, which is a good sign, since non-farm businesses are now the largest employers in rural regions and 90% of these businesses are small or micro.
And finally, we were thrilled to see the CDFI Fund restored to $250 million which means that more women entrepreneurs who can’t get bank loans will benefit from nonprofit lenders serving their communities. But this good news does not mean that we should lessen our efforts to encourage banks to substantially increase both their lending to women and their investing in CDFIs.
The meaning we can draw from these positive outcomes is that legislators are listening to their constituents, with active input from advocates such as CAMEO, AWBC, ASBC, Small Business Majority, NASE and others. And the upcoming mid-term elections, with so many contested seats, offer us an opportunity to make a strong case for why investing in women entrepreneurs creates healthy local economies.
SPHERE OF INFLUENCERS
We'd like to welcome to the I-WE Sphere of Influencers:
- Bianca Blomquist Northern California Outreach Manager, Small Business Majority
- Saundra Davis Executive Director, Sage Financial Solutions
- Sharon Miller CEO, Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
- Claire Kramer Mills Assistant Vice President and Community Affairs Officer, Outreach & Education, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
- Kathleen Minogue Founder and CEO, Crowdfund Better
- Heather McCulloch Founder and Director, Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative
- Pamela Prince-Eason President and CEO, WBENC (Women's Business Enterprise National Council)
ENTREPRENEUR SPOTLIGHT: JESSICURL
Read our latest profile on an entrepreneur who took advantage of women's business resources to build a successful company.
- The California Assembly is proposing AB-2463, the "Small Business Assistance Act of 2018." This bill would create the California Small Business Assistance Program under the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), with the goal of assisting small businesses by forging partnerships with existing federal small business technical assistance centers, providing grants to them to maximize collaboration and impact.
- Entrepreneur Magazine profiled a women-only coworking space called The Wing, where women can grow their own businesses in a supportive, collaborative environment.