New legislation could make it easier for women-owned businesses to win federal contracts, driving revenue and creating jobs at a critical time of economic recovery.
Yesterday, U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mary L. Landrieu (D-LA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the Fairness in Women-Owned Small Business Contracting Act of 2012, bipartisan legislation to enhance the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) women-owned small business contracting program.
To help put women-owned firms on a level playing field with other socio-economic groups (e.g. HUBZone, 8(a), and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses), the legislation proposes two notable changes: Eliminating a restriction on the dollar amount of a contract that women-owned small businesses can compete for, and allowing for receipt of sole source contracts (i.e. non-competitive contracts) when circumstances permit.