H.R. 5050 Continues to Support Women Business Owners | NAWBO

Thirty years ago, members of NAWBO educated elected officials and agency staffers of the undeniable impact women-owned businesses played in the national economy. NAWBO’s outreach led to US Representative John LaFalce authoring H.R. 5050, known as The Women’s Business Ownership Act, and President Ronald Reagan signing it into law on October 25, 1988.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of H.R. 5050, which plays a crucial role in propelling women-owned businesses. One of the remarkable changes that it made was the erasure of the need for a male relative or husband to co-sign a business loan. Prior to that, in many states, women failed to develop their own businesses independent of male’s support. This situation impeded women from pursuing their own goals until the legislation of H.R. 5050.

Our member Lee Ann Packard, who is a second-generation owner of Marfield Corporate Stationary, said her mother who ran the company for years “as 51% owner and operator” could not get a bank loan during the 1980s until her father co-signed the loan. Recalling this story, she acknowledged the significance of H.R. 5050 in empowering women business owners.

“Legally acknowledging the prejudice toward lending to women without a male co-signer was a giant step toward women’s struggle for independence in society and another step toward acknowledgement that women are strong thinkers and can build businesses by themselves,” Packard said.

H.R. 5050 also brought about other changes that benefited women entrepreneurs. First, it established the Women’s Business Center program to support women in an effective way. Today, there are more than 100 centers that have helped more than two million women start and expand their businesses. It also established the National Women’s Business Council, which conducts research and advances policy solutions to improve the business environment for women. In addition, the law required the Census Bureau to include women-owned c-corporation, which expanded research beyond the self-employed and into bigger women-owned businesses.

Today, women own an estimated 11.6 million businesses employing nearly 9 million people and generating nearly $1.7 trillion in revenues. While H.R. 5050, in a broad picture, was a transformation of the course of women entrepreneurship, NAWBO is proud to serve as the first advocacy organization for all women business owners. And we believe there is still a long way to go.

“NAWBO can be present and active to raise our voices in attaining equality in leadership positions on corporate and governmental boards and in positions of authority,” said Packard. “As women’s economic impact continues to grow we have the opportunity to know no boundaries.”

To continue to advocate and support women entrepreneurship, we need to stay engaged. We are just as responsible as those who represent us. We must offer our policymakers sound ideas to move the needle forward and help them create policies that nurture a prosperous environment for all women-owned businesses. These policies should expand access to capital, provide for research that assesses and meets the needs of women business owners, include targeted support women of color and women in tech, give them the tools to create more of an emphasis on business expansion, and provide an avenue for more women involvement in procurement.

Support Lee Ann’s business by visiting www.marfield.com.

Related Posts

A Message from Our President: Leading...
May 03, 2021

Welcome to May! With spring in bloom and vaccination distribution well underway, we are beginning...

Minding the Rules
April 21, 2021

Compliance is a catch-all term for how well you mind the rules—the laws and regulations governing...

A Message From Our President: Minding...
April 07, 2021

Happy April! With some doses of warmer weather and stretches with real sunshine, I hope you are...

A Message from Our President: People...
March 31, 2021

Happy March! We are so excited (and relieved) that Spring is finally upon us! The theme this month...

Our Most Important Asset: Our People
March 17, 2021

At NAWBO, we know our most important asset is our people—the amazingly talented and diverse women...

Think Inclusive from the Start
February 17, 2021

The positive impacts of diversity and inclusion (D&I) are clear and run deep. In fact, we’ve...

A Message from Our President: Think...
February 03, 2021

If January wasn’t the “Fresh Start” to 2021 you were expecting, that’s okay! The beauty of fresh...

Member Spotlight: Ashley Logan
February 03, 2021

ASHLEY LOGAN Founder & CEO, Yakkety Yak   When Ashley Logan started in content marketing in...

A Message From Our President: Fresh...
February 02, 2021

Happy New Year! We can’t believe it’s already 2021, but we’re so glad to leave 2020 behind. Our...

Here’s to Fresh Starts!
January 20, 2021

“I want every day to be a fresh start on expanding what is possible.”  ―Oprah Winfrey   There’s...

Driven By Purpose
December 17, 2020

Several months into this year’s pandemic in the U.S., a Forbes article reported that a lot of...

A Message From Our President
December 04, 2020

  The days are getting shorter and colder, but we still have time left in this year. For many...

Let's Take A Retirement Test Drive
November 24, 2020

As a new year approaches, you are likely putting plans in place for your future. With the...

Positively In the Flow
November 19, 2020

  Quite simply, cash flow—the money flowing in and out of our businesses each month—is...

NAWBO Chicago Logo
As The NAWBO National Conference 2020...
November 02, 2020

To me, being Brave is being Courageous.  To meet the challenges that we face every day as business...

Keep Your Eyes on the Road Ahead
October 29, 2020

You know how a good driver keeps their eyes on the road ahead? That’s how we need to think about...

Not Fearless, Just Brave
Not Fearless, Just Tremendously Brave
October 29, 2020

  It’s not what you learn from an experience, but how it changes you. And I know I speak for so...

NAWBO Chicago Logo
As a small business owner, what signs...
October 19, 2020

For my business, I had a lot of clients who were skeptical of taking classes online even though it...

Continuing the Vision and Legacy
August 07, 2020

In 1975, there were no business organizations with membership open to women entrepreneurs, so a...

Strength of My Peers
August 07, 2020

Upon joining NAWBO,  I immediately joined the West Town Mastermind.  I love to see the strength...