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U.S. Rep. Newman (IL-03) Introduces Legislation To Support Women-Owned Small Businesses That Have Disproportionately Been Hit By This Pandemic

April 15, 2021

To further provide relief to women entrepreneurs, the legislation introduced today would extend the waiver of the matching fund requirement for Women Business Centers

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Marie Newman (IL-03) introduced legislation to support women-owned small businesses by extending the waiver for the matching fund requirement for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Women Business Centers. Expected to expire in less than two months on June 30, 2021, the legislation introduced today would extend the matching fund requirement waiver to the end of the fiscal year so that the Centers can continue to provide assistance to the tens of thousands of women entrepreneurs and small businesses who have been disproportionately impacted by this pandemic.  

“As a former small business owner, I know that our women-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs are the backbone of our neighborhood economies and over the past year, they’ve been disproportionately impacted by this pandemic. That’s why it’s imperative that we continue to ensure these businesses have the resources and technical assistance they rely on every single day from the Women Business Centers in their communities,” said Congresswoman Newman. “By extending this deadline, we’re ensuring women-owned small businesses can continue to weather the remainder of this pandemic and come out stronger than ever before.”         

The SBA’s Women Business Centers are educational resource centers for non-profit and for-profit women-owned organizations, designed specifically to support and empower local women entrepreneurs in their communities. However, each Center is also required to match any federal funding they’ve received to a minimum 1:2 ratio each year ($1 of non-federal funds for every $2 of federal funds). Previously extended as part of the CARES Act and the Economic Aid for Hardest Hit Businesses Act, this legislation would further extend the waiver to September 31, 2021. 

“The Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC) commends Rep. Marie Newman on her legislation to extend the non-federal matching requirement to Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) to September 31, 2021,” said Corinne Hodges, CEO of the Association of Women’s Business Centers. “An extension beyond June 30, 2021, would enable our network of 135 WBCs across the nation to continue delivering the much-needed financial support, technical training, and business counseling to women-owned businesses most affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.” 

For the past several years, Women Business Centers have contributed to the significant growth of women-owned businesses across the United States. Despite their growth, women-owned businesses’ share of employment and total receipts have remained unchanged, and their financial security has only exacerbated since the pandemic. By extending the waiver to the end of the fiscal year, more women-owned businesses and women entrepreneurs will have access to the resources and technical assistance offered by the Women Business Centers.  

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