Chicago Advocacy | NAWBO

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Advocacy

Our commitment to Advocacy runs deep, and it is what sets us apart from other women’s business organizations.

The National Association of Woman Business Owners (NAWBO) was founded in 1975 in Washington, DC to serve as one voice representing the issues and concerns of woman-owned businesses at the national and state levels for change in the business environment. NAWBO’s goal is to effectively represent the full diversity of the woman business owner community, regardless of industry or company size, and regardless of race, religion, age, abilities, or sexual orientation of the owner. 

Each year, NAWBO-National hosts an Advocacy Day and Academy for Public Service in Washington D.C. to encourage NAWBO members to be involved in the democratic process at all levels of government. NAWBO Chicago offers regular educational opportunities to learn about local candidates, issues, and policies that affect our professional lives. Together, we work with Congress and the Administration on issues relating to and impacting woman business owners. 
 

NAWBO Chicago Advocacy & Public Policy Updates:

July 13, 2021

While Congress was out last week, the President has been speaking on his American Families Plan and the bipartisan infrastructure bill, but he also released an Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American EconomyNAWBO was briefed on the order as one of the leading small business associations. 

 

What’s an executive order? For those of you new to advocacy, executive orders are not legislation. The President does not need approval from Congress. If Congress disagrees with the E.O., they may pass legislation that might make it difficult, or even impossible, to carry out the order, such as removing funding. However, only a sitting U.S. President may overturn an existing executive order by issuing another executive order to that effect.

 

This specific executive order is broken up into sections including: Labor Markets, Healthcare, Transportation, Agriculture, Internet Service, Technology, and Banking and Consumer Finance. It also establishes a White House Competition Council, led by the Director of the National Economic Council, to monitor progress on finalizing the initiatives in the Order and to coordinate the federal government's response to the rising power of large corporations in the economy.

 

Here are some of the highlights:

Labor

·         Encourages the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to ban or limit non-compete agreements.

·         Encourages the FTC to ban unnecessary occupational licensing restrictions that impede economic mobility.

·         Encourages the FTC and DOJ to strengthen antitrust guidance to prevent employers from collaborating to suppress wages or reduce benefits by sharing wage and benefit information with one another.

Healthcare

·         Directs HHS to standardize plan options in the National Health Insurance Marketplace so people can comparison shop more easily.

Transportation

·         Directs the DOT to consider issuing clear rules requiring the refund of fees when baggage is delayed or when service isn't actually provided-like when the plane's WiFi or in-flight entertainment system is broken.

·         Directs the DOT to consider issuing rules that require baggage, change, and cancellation fees to be clearly disclosed to the customer.

·         Encourages the Federal Maritime Commission to ensure vigorous enforcement against shippers charging American exporters exorbitant charges.

Internet Service

·         Encourages Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to prevent ISPs from making deals with landlords that limit tenants' choices.

·         Encourages FCC Limit excessive early termination fees.

·         Encourages FCC to restore net neutrality rules

Technology

·         Announces an Administration policy of greater scrutiny of mergers, especially by dominant internet platforms, with particular attention to the acquisition of nascent competitors, serial mergers, the accumulation of data, competition by "free" products, and the effect on user privacy.

Banking and Consumer Finance

·         Encourages the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to issue rules allowing customers to download their banking data and take it with them

 

Here is a recent statement from CEO Jen Earle on the bipartisan infrastructure plan.


June 24, 2021

NAWBO Meets with White House to Discuss Moving Small Business Economy Forward 

Washington, D.C. —Today, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) CEO Jen Earle met with White House leaders, including Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond, to discuss the needs of women business owners. The dialogue included aspects of the American Families Plan that would support women business owners and other legislative areas that NAWBO supports, including infrastructure investment. Following the meeting, NAWBO was pleased to see the White House announced a bipartisan infrastructure plan with Senate Democrats and Republicans. We believe that working together and across the aisle is imperative to supporting America's women business owners. We look forward to working with Congressional leaders to advance this important legislation.

"I told the White House today how women business owners are still in need of help," said NAWBO CEO Jen Earle. "Our most recent survey showed that 43 percent of women business owners are still in need of additional government grants or tax breaks. We also discussed the ever-present need for affordable, reliable broadband all across the nation from the rural areas to the ever-increasing prices in urban areas."

In a recent Gusto-NAWBO report, half of the women business owners said that better broadband or internet service would allow them to grow their business in the future. As Congress puts pen to paper on the infrastructure legislation, we hope the final language includes significant investment in broadband which is critical to the continued growth of women-owned businesses.


May 3, 2021

Tonight, the President will deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress at 9 PM ET, two days before his 100th day in the White House. We expect to hear a lot about his plans for the country.
 
But, what are all the Biden Administration plans everyone is talking about?

ADMINISTRATION UPDATES

 

GET PPP, EIDL, AND ARE LOOKING AT RESTAURANT FUNDS OR SHUTTERED VENUES?

Click here to learn about cross-program eligibility.

 

RESTAURANT REVITALIZATION FUND

The Small Business Administration (SBA) released key details on application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RFF) passed under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Eligible restaurants can apply for funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location.

Here’s how to prepare:

The SBA recommends qualifying applicants familiarize themselves with the application process in advance to ensure a smooth and efficient application experience, specifically by:

  • Registering for an account in advance at sba.gov starting Friday, April 30, 2021, at 9 AM EDT.
  • Reviewing the official guidance, including program guide, frequently asked questions, and application sample.
  • Preparing the required documentation.
  • Working with a point-of-sale vendor or visiting sba.gov to submit an application when the application portal opens. [Note: If an applicant is working with a point-of-sale vendor, they do not need to register beforehand on the site.]
  • Attending a live recorded virtual training webinar.

For the first 21 days that the program is open, the SBA will prioritize funding applications from businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. All eligible applicants are encouraged to submit applications as soon as the portal opens. Following the 21 days, all eligible applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Consistent with the legislation and the intent of Congress, the SBA continues to take steps to ensure the equitable distribution of relief, particularly for the smallest businesses, by creating a $9.5 billion set-aside: $5 billion for applicants with 2019 gross receipts of not more than $500,000; $4 billion is set aside for applicants with 2019 gross receipts from $500,001 to $1,500,000; and $500 million for applicants with 2019 gross receipts, not more than $50,000.

 

TARGETED EIDL ADVANCE

The U.S. Small Business Administration Launched Supplemental Targeted Advance for Small Businesses Hardest Hit by COVID-19.

Denied for Targeted EIDL Advance?

Effective immediately, applicants can send a request for reevaluation of a Targeted EIDL Advance application that was declined to the following email address: TargetedAdvanceReevaluation@sba.gov.

Applicants should follow these instructions when requesting a reevaluation:

SHUTTERED VENUE OPERATORS GRANT

The application portal reopened Monday, April 26, 2021, at 12:00 PM EDT. You register on the portal. Applicants need a smartphone and a multi-factor authenticator app to register and apply.

The SBA has also added the following updated resources.

·         Applicant user guide and FAQ: For help with the application process, refer to the applicant user guide and FAQ.

·         Checklist: Use the list to make sure you have everything you need to complete your application. 

·         Call Center:  For Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal technical assistance such as a password reset, browser suggestions, or how to use the multi-factor authentication with an app and the QR code, applicants can call 1-800-659-2955 or, for the deaf and hard-of-hearing 1-800-877-8339 and follow the prompts to SVOG assistance. The call center is open through the weekend from 8 AM to 8 PM EDT. For additional information and to review applicant resources, visit www.sba.gov/svogrant.

NEW PAID LEAVE TAX CREDIT
There is a new paid leave tax credit that will offset the cost for employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide full pay for any time their employees need to get a COVID-19 vaccination or recover from that vaccination. The Treasury Department published two fact sheets, which can also be found here and here, to help small businesses better understand how to claim the paid sick leave credit. 

EXECUTIVE ORDER: MINIMUM WAGE $15
Keep in mind this is for federal workers. 

  • Increase the hourly minimum wage for federal contractors to $15.
  • Starting January 30, 2022, all agencies will need to incorporate a $15 minimum wage in new contract solicitations, and by March 30, 2022, all agencies will need to implement the minimum wage into new contracts.  Agencies must also implement the higher wage into existing contracts when the parties exercise their option to extend such contracts, which often occurs annually.
  • Continue to index the minimum wage to an inflation measure so that every year after 2022, it will be automatically adjusted to reflect changes in the cost of living.
  • Eliminate the tipped minimum wage for federal contractors by 2024.
  • Ensure a $15 minimum wage for federal contract workers with disabilities. To ensure equity, similar to the Obama-Biden minimum wage executive order for federal contractors, this executive order extends the required $15 minimum wage to federal contract workers with disabilities.
  • Restore minimum wage protections to outfitters and guides operating on federal lands by revoking President Trump’s executive order 13838 “Exemption From Executive Order 13658 for Recreational Services on Federal Lands.”

Hearings to Note

 

House Small Business Committee

Today, Wednesday, April 28, at 12:15 PM ET

Virtual hearing on Harnessing the Power of Immigrant-owned Businesses to Build Back Better on 

 

House Committee on Small Business 

Thursday, April 29 at 1:00 PM ET

Virtual hearing on Supply Chain Resiliency and the Role of Small Manufacturers on 

 

Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Last week, the Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship committee held the nomination hearing for Mr. Dilawar Syed to be Deputy Administrator of the SBA. To watch the archived hearing, click here.


April 29, 2021

SBAC Action Call: Support Illinois Small Businesses

Small businesses and local communities are attempting to recover from the pandemic. BIG Legislation for Small Businesses and the RISE Act will help. These bills will help businesses keep their doors open, recover and thrive.

Senate Bill 1982 and House Bill 1860 will allocate 25% of federal relief funds to help struggling small businesses with 50 or less employees recover from the pandemic. These bills will provide grants to small businesses and start-ups which have been devastated by the pandemic.  

Senate Bill 2490 and House Bill 801 are the RISE Act. These bills provide a tax credit to small businesses that retrain and hire individuals who lost their jobs or businesses because of the pandemic. These bills will create jobs.

Please take a moment to send an e-mail to your legislators asking them to strongly advocate for these bills. You can do that below.  The e-mail thanks those who have already sponsored these bills and asks those who have not to take immediate action.

Thanks so much for your engagement.

Please click here to contact your legislators.

If the link above does not work, please copy and paste this URL into your browser:https://www.smallbusinessadvocacycouncil.org/2021/04/26/sbac-action-call-support-illinois-small-businesses/


April 19, 2021

SBAC Legislative Update:

We are writing with some good news on our efforts to pass legislation that will allocate 25% of new federal relief funds for businesses with fifty or less employees and create an improved business interruption grant process. We are excited to report there are presently 12 sponsors on this legislation and it has moved back into the Appropriations Committee. There is significant momentum building around this legislation and we have a good chance to continue moving this forward. 

 

The is our action call with a revised title. The title is “BIG Legislation for Small Businesses.” This will go to State Senators: https://www.smallbusinessadvocacycouncil.org/2021/04/05/big-legislation-for-small-businesses/

 

SB1982 can help so many small businesses recover from this pandemic!


April 12, 2021

PPP Extension:

The U.S. Senate passed the PPP Extension Act of 2021 by a vote of 92-7. This will extend the deadline for PPP applications for another two months to May 31, 2021, and then provide an additional 30-day period for the SBA to process applications that are still pending. The bill now heads to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law. This bill was endorsed by nearly 100 organizations, including NAWBO!

***

COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program Changes:

During the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee hearing, the SBA made these important announcements. 

  • They would be lifting the cap from $150,000 to $500,000 for COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) loans. It will start on April 6th.
  • They hope to lift it back to $2 million sometime in April.
  • The calculation will be based on up to 24 months of working capital vs. the previous six months.
  • If you have already received a COVID EIDL loan, the SBA will email you to provide more details on how you can request an increase in your loan size.

In March, the SBA also announced that businesses now have 24 months from the loan date to start repaying ANY disaster loans made in 2020. For loans made in 2021, payments would begin 18 months after the loan is made.


April 6, 2021

SBAC & NAWBO Chicago - Urge Illinois Politicians To Fund an Improved Small Business Grant Program

President Biden has signed the American Rescue Plan Act (H.R. 1391) into law. Accordingly, the State of Illinois is expected to receive over $7.5 billion in funds to foster recovery from the pandemic. Many small businesses have been devastated by the pandemic. That is why the SBAC and a robust coalition of small business advocates are championing Senate Bill 1982, which will allocate 25% of federal relief funds for grants to small and local businesses. It also sets forth the framework for an improved Business Interruption Grant program.

About 40,000 businesses previously applied for BIG grants but only 8,974 received funding. The process took too long for many businesses which ultimately did not receive a grant. Senate Bill 1982 provides $10,000 grants for businesses with revenue of over $100,000 that can demonstrate a 25% reduction in gross revenue from 2019 to 2020. Senate Bill 1982 provides grants to other eligible small businesses, including those launched right before the pandemic which have thus far been unable to obtain adequate relief. The grants are enhanced for businesses in economically disadvantaged communities.

It is imperative our politicians support small businesses during this crucial time. 

Please click here to contact your State Senator and ask them to sponsor Senate Bill 1982.


March 26, 2021

Today, the U.S. Senate passed the PPP Extension Act of 2021 by a vote of 92-7. The bill was introduced by Senate Small Business Committee Chair Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).

This will extend the deadline for PPP applications for another two months to May 31, 2021, and then provide an additional 30-day period for the SBA to process applications that are still pending. The House of Representatives passed the bill on March 16 by a vote of 415-3. The bill now heads to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law. 

The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.).  

Representatives Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-Ga.), and Young Kim (D-Calif.) introduced the bill in the House. The bill was endorsed by nearly 100 organizations, including NAWBO!

 


March 26, 2021

The Small Business Advocacy Council provided an update on our policy initiative calling for 25% of new federal relief funds to be allocated for Illinois small businesses and an improved business interruption grant process. The SBAC issued a press release which you can view here.Please feel free to share this press release because the more engagement the better! They are working with Senator Fine to amend SB1982 with the policy proposals contained within the press release. The robust number of groups signing on to support this policy is having a big impact. Finally, if you could reach out to your State Senators and ask them to sponsor SB9182 that would be awesome.


March 24, 2021

PPP Extension:

The Senate voted to invoke cloture on the PPP Extension (96-4), so hopefully, they can get it done before they head out for recess next week.

COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program Changes:
During today's Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee hearing, the SBA made some important announcements:

  • Today, the SBA announced that they would be lifting the cap from $150,000 to $500,000 for COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) loans. It will start on April 6th.
  • The SBA also said they hope to lift it back to $2 M sometime in April. 
  • The calculation will be based on up to 24 months of working capital vs. the previous six months.
  • If you have already received a COVID EIDL loan, the SBA will be emailing you in the coming days to provide more details on how you can request an increase in your loan size.
  • Earlier this month, the SBA announced that now, businesses have 24 months from the loan date to start repaying ANY disaster loans made in 2020. For loans made in 2021, payments would begin 18 months after the loan is made. 

Restaurant Grant Program:

During today's hearing, they didn't give a firm date on the restaurant program's start, but it sounds like they are about a month away from being up and running.


The U.S. Small Business Administration announced extended deferment periods for all disaster loans, including the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, until 2022.

  • All SBA disaster loans made in calendar year 2020, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from 12-months to 24-months from the date of the note.
  • All SBA disaster loans made in calendar year 2021, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from 12-months to 18-months from the date of the note.

Existing SBA disaster loans approved prior to 2020 in regular servicing status as of March 1, 2020, received an automatic deferment of principal and interest payments through December 31, 2020. This initial deferment period was subsequently extended through March 31, 2021. An additional 12-month deferment of principal and interest payments will be automatically granted to these borrowers. Borrowers will resume their regular payment schedule with the payment immediately preceding March 31, 2022, unless the borrower voluntarily continues to make payments while on deferment.It is important to note that the interest will continue to accrue on the outstanding balance of the loan throughout the duration of the deferment.
 


RISE Act Update

In conjunction with our partners at the SBAC, we have some important Springfield updates on this legislation including an upcoming hearing scheduled for March 18th at 3:00 pm. The Illinois Landscape Contractors Association and Home Care Association of America Illinois Chapter have filed witness slips in support of the legislation. We are beginning to gain momentum on this important effort.

Will you contact your state legislators and ask them to sponsor the Rise Act. The bill number is House Bill 801 and Senate Bill SB 2490. It is our understanding that the bills are identical except the House Bill provides an additional $500 for businesses located in disproportionately impacted areas while the Senate bill provides for an additional $1500 incentive. Those differences can be reconciled as the bills progress. Make your voice heard here: https://www.smallbusinessadvocacycouncil.org/2021/02/19/action-call-rise-act/ 

We have the chance to pass an incentive that will help small businesses retrain and hire individuals who have lost their jobs and businesses because of the pandemic! 



SBAC's Cut Red Tape Agenda
 



NAWBO's 2021 Advocacy Agenda
 



NAWBO's Advocacy Updates