St. Louis Advocacy | NAWBO

NAWBO Advocacy


St. Louis Advocacy

The NAWBO-St. Louis chapter supports the national advocacy goals set forth by the National Association of Women Business Owners which include: 

  • Increasing access to capital for WBEs
  • Healthcare cost reduction and making healthcare coverage affordable for women business owners and their employees
  • Fair and equitable tax treatment of all business
  • Meeting Federal, State and local procurement goals for WBEs

As a local and regional leader of women owned businesses, we support policies and initiatives in partnership with other business organizations including:

  • Increasing educational attainment in the region and talent development and retention
  • Strategies to improve the business climate and economic inclusion policies and opportunities for the creation, recruitment and expansion of business in our region
  • Strategic investments that are necessary to modernize and strengthen our regional infrastructure systems, leverage our location, enhance our multi-modal capabilities, and facilitate the movement of goods and people within the region and around the world
  • Programs which increase the competitiveness of women business owners, or benefit the health and well-being of women business owners and their families
  • Social initiatives which impact competitiveness or economic development of the state or region.


Public Policy People: Join our committee  

In December of each year, NAWBO-St. Louis begins review of bills prefilled and evaluates filings as they are submitted for consideration to the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives. After review as a committee and collaboration with partners and coalition members, NAWBO-St. Louis Board of Directors states its positions on bills or initiatives as they fit or conflict with its policy platform.

The Public Policy Committee meets monthly November thru June.

The Public Policy Committee also hosts information sessions and other events to build awareness and strengthen policy networks around entrepreneurship, women in business, and economic development.


Coalition Builders

In 2017, NAWBO-St. Louis began to assemble other women-owned business organizations and professional women’s organizations to join together to review policies and initiatives which affect the broader community of women in business. While loosely organized, NAWBO-St. Louis leads the effort to connect with other groups to disseminate regional policy information and alerts.


Support of Regional Leaders

NAWBO-St. Louis cares deeply about Missouri, St. Louis, and their workforces. In support of the regional business leader, the St. Louis Regional Chamber, NAWBO participates in its Missouri Public Affairs Network and is among the sponsors of its annual St. Louis Day in the Capitol.


On Alert: 2017 Advocacy Positions

Missouri Earned Family and Medical Leave Act

NAWBO-St. Louis recognizes the impact of paid leave on the health of children, on employee retention benefits, as well as on the competitive advantage paid-leave policies can have for small business owners.

The Missouri Earned Family and Medical Leave Act is a Missouri-specific program that would entitle employees to up to six weeks of paid leave. A program participant would receive wage-replacement benefits at 100 percent of his or her average weekly pay, with a cap based on the average state wage. Under this program, employers do not pay for the wage-replacement benefits.

Eligible employees:

  • All full-time and part-time employees (independent contractors are excluded).
  • Employee must have paid into the fund for at least 52 weeks and must have worked for his or her current employer for at least 26 weeks.
  • Participant must not be receiving unemployment compensation.
  • Employees eligible for unpaid leave through the federal FMLA program must take leave through the federal and state programs concurrently.

Eligible reasons for leave:

  • Bonding with a minor child within the first year of birth or placement in connection with foster care or adoption.
  • Caring for a family member with a serious health condition.
  • Tending to an employee’s own serious health condition.
  • Tending to a family member or himself or herself seeking medical attention, services, or counseling as a result to being a victim of stalking, domestic violence, abuse, or sexual assault.
  • Assuming familial responsibility because a spouse, child, or parent of an employee is on, or has been notified of an impending call to active duty in the armed forces.

Funding mechanism:

  • Employees shall contribute (pre-tax) one-quarter of one percent of their pay.
  • Employers may cover all or a percentage of their employees’ contribution.


  • Leave eligibility, approval, and all other aspects of the program would be overseen by the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

The Impacts:

  • Overall, children whose mothers took parental leave had significantly higher social competence and communication and general knowledge scores compared to children without a parent who took parental leave.
  • Maternity leave led to substantial decreases in infant mortality, small increases in birth weight and decreases in the likelihood of premature birth.
  • Paid leave encourages men to take paternity leave and serve as caregivers, which has a number of positive effects on families.

The Business Benefits:

  • Paid leave allows for smaller businesses to compete better with larger businesses.
  • Paid leave can increase female labor force participation by making it easier for women to stay in the workforce after giving birth, which contributes to economic growth.
  • Paid maternity leave increases worker retention and reduces turnover, savings businesses significant costs associated with replacing employees.

Paid leave increases worker productivity and improves loyalty and morale.

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