NAWBO Louisville Public Policy September Update

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Public Policy & Advocacy News

Discover How Government
Contracts Can Help Your Business Grow

NAWBO strongly supports efforts by Congress to increase the allocation of federal contracts to be performed and/or fulfilled by small businesses, particularly women-owned businesses, and also believes federal agencies should be held accountable to achieve their small business contracting requirements. NAWBO supports achievement of the 5% Federal procurement goal for women-owned small businesses and other steps designed to assure women business owners their fair share of Federal contracts and contract dollars. 

If you think not many of your peers contract with the federal government, you are correct. During federal fiscal year 2015, which ends on September 30, $4,657,868,513 in prime federal contracts have been award to companies in Kentucky.  Of that $4.6 trillion, 127 women-owned business won at little more than $47 million in contracts. Note that this is an average of $367,867 to these women-owned businesses in the Commonwealth.  

According to research by American ExpressOPEN, 42% of women-owned small business with government contracts generate annual revenues greater than $1 million.  At the same time, woman-owned businesses in Kentucky rank 46th in the nation for combined economic clout, according to the 2015 State of Women-Owned Business Report. That is a measure of the number, revenue and employment growth of women-owned firms between 1997 and 2015.  

Below are five events to help you get started or to expand your sales to the federal government and other government entities. I am speaking at two of the events, and NAWBO Louisville will have a table at the Small Business Summit.  

Marisa Midkiff Neal
Public Policy Committee Chair

Top 5 Things You Need to Know about
Government Contracting

Event:     We will discuss the top myths and facts about
               government contracting.
Speaker:  Marisa Midkiff Neal, MMN Consulting, LLC
When:     September 9, 2015     6:00-8:30PM
Where:    Noah's Event Venue
               12451 Plantside Drive, Louisville, KY 40299
Register: Eventbrite or
Cost:       No cost; however donations are accepted  

9th Annual Small Business Summit
Event:    Matchmaker for small businesses, corporations
              and government entities 
When:    September 15, 2015     9:00AM-4:00PM
Where:   The Olmsted
Register: Eventbrite or
Cost:       $45   NAWBO Louisville members may contact
               Stephanie Geddes or Marisa Neal for a promo code

Supplier Diversity Fair
Event:    Matchmaker to meet directly with & exhibit to
              procurement professionals from KCTCS, UK
              and other organizations such as Toyota
When:    October 1, 2015     2:00PM-5:00PM
Where:   Pritchard Community Center
              Elizabethtown, Kentucky
Cost:       Free  

Woman-Owned Business Certifications
Event:     Which certifications do you need to help market your
               business to local, state, and federal governments or
               corporations? Which certifications could you qualify
               to receive?  Why does certification matter?
Speaker: Marisa Midkiff Neal, MMN Consulting, LLC
When:     October 7, 2015     3:00-5:00PM
Where:    ARGI Financial Group
               2110 High Wickham Place, Louisville, KY 40245
Register: NAWBO Louisville's website
Cost:       Free for NAWBO Louisville members & $35 for guests

Event:     SBA, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), and
               American Express OPEN have partnered to host
               women business owners for this special federal
               contracting event.
Keynote: Congressman Steve Chabot
               Chair, House Small Business Committee
When:     October 16, 2015     8:00AM-12:30PM
Where:    Cincinnati Contemporary Learning Center
               Cincinnati, Ohio
Register: Eventbrite
Cost:       Free


Public Policy Luncheon Recap 

This year's NAWBO Louisville Public Policy Luncheon started with networking and dessert. We enjoyed a 40th anniversary cake baked by Gabe the Cake Man.  The entire price of the cake was donated to help Scarlet's Bakery.  We were joined by four original members of NAWBO Louisville, who were recognized on the patio at Noah's of Louisville, a brand new event venue in Jeffersontown.

Mary Ellen Weiderwohl, chief of Louisville Forward, spoke about the importance of women business owners and entrepreneurs to our community.  She presented NAWBO Louisville with a proclamation from Mayor Fischer recognizing NAWBO's 40th anniversary and the Louisville chapter's contribution to the
business community since 1992.  

Keynote speaker, Congressman Thomas Massie, shared stories about his experiences as a business owner, Kentuckian, and time representing Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District. Unique in Congress, he earned engineering degrees from MIT, holds 29 patents, and lives off the grid in a home he built.

Rep. Massie spoke to and took questions about his background as an entrepreneur and how that experience helped inform his approach to various issues like corporate taxes and intellectual property. He discussed his food & farm freedom bills (the PRIME Act and the Milk Freedom Act) to reduce barriers of entry for smaller farmers who want to sell their products locally. He reviewed legislation he sponsored that recently passed, such as a hemp amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) appropriations bill to prohibit the use of federal funds to impede industrial hemp research, and a NSA amendment to the CJS appropriations bill that would prevent the National Institute of Standards and Technology from cooperating with the NSA to weaken encryption standards for the purpose of facilitating electronic surveillance. He also gave a preview of what we can expect to see from Congress this fall.  

Before and afterwards, he spent time talking with NAWBO members and guests about issues important to them.  

We were honored to have Jeffersontown Mayor Bill Dieruf and Louisville Metro Councilwoman Angela Leet attend. Three candidates were also there: Stephen Knipper, Republican candidate for Secretary of State; Judith Bartholomew, candidate for District Judge; and Bob Heler
inger, candidate for District Judge. Senator Paul and the Small Business Administration had staff at the luncheon.  

The event was made possible in large part by our ruby sponsor, Eaton Corporation, who generously underwrote the luncheon. The beautiful purple rose and white hydrangea centerpieces were donated by Susan's Florists. Lunch, garnished with edible purple orchids, was catered by Ladyfinger's.  

Several women worked very hard to make the luncheon a success including: Toni Ahl, Patti Butler, Gale Cox, Stephanie Geddes, Marisa NealDanielle Woodward and Jesika Young.  

Thanks to the 75 members and guests who joined us!  

NAWBO Supports the Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015

NAWBO is proud to support this legislation that would begin the necessary process of modifying, consolidating or repealing regulations on businesses to reduce compliance costs, encourage growth and innovation, improve competitiveness and protect public safety for the benefit of NAWBO members and business owners in general. 

Click HERE to learn more.

The next NAWBO Public Policy Primer call on September 22 at noon. We will be joined on the call by Julie Weeks, President and CEO of Womenable, who will share her tips for using state-specific data to your advocacy advantage.  Click HERE to register.  


NAWBO Submits Comment Letter on Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Act

Click HERE to read the full letter that outlines our concerns that the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” places an increased and potentially unfair reporting burden on the women business owners applying for government contracts and may impede their ability to secure contracts moving forward.

IRS Issues Proposal to Eliminate Automatic Filing Extensions

On August 12, 2015, the IRS issued proposed regulations that would eliminate the automatic extension of time to file information returns on forms in the W-2 series, effective for the 2017 filing series. 

The IRS requires employers to report wage and salary information for employees on Form W-2. Currently, employers who file Forms W-2 can receive an automatic 30-day extension with the IRS. Then, a second 30-day extension may be requested. In the proposal, the IRS warns that it would grant a non-automatic extension only in limited cases involving extraordinary circumstances or catastrophe. The IRS requests comments on the appropriate timing to remove the automatic 30-day extension including whether special transitional considerations should be given.

Marisa Midkiff Neal
NAWBO Louisville Public Policy Committee
Consider joining the NAWBO Louisville Public Policy Committee if you are interested in access to capital, government contracting, healthcare, taxation, and other state and local public policies related to women owned businesses.  

Please email me for details.    

Marisa Midkiff Neal
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"Get a seat at the table or build your own table, and make sure to include other women.” 

NAWBO’s Founding President Susan Hagar