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Queens Chronicle

Pols want federal contracts for women

Gillibrand bill would ‘level the playing field’ for female small business owners

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Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:55 am, Thu Aug 21, 2014.

New York lawmakers are pressing the U.S. Senate to pass a bill that would create more opportunities for women-owned small businesses seeking federal contracts.

On Monday, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside) were joined by Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows), state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) and Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) at Data Conversion Laboratory — a woman-run business.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the most powerful job creators we have,” Gillibrand said. “And the fact is, women are the primary income earner for a growing share of homes across America.”

According to the senator, while the number of women-owned small businesses continues to increase, they only receive 1.48 percent of all federal contract dollars.

In fact, 30 percent of Queens firms are owned by women, according to the latest Census data, and yet many have trouble landing federal contracting jobs.

“It’s time to knock down the barriers that for too long have blocked female entrepreneurs from doing more business with the federal government,” Meng, who is sponsoring a partner bill in the House, said. “Women-owned businesses have just as much right to federal contracts as all other businesses do.”

This is not the first time the federal government has made it a priority to promote contracting with women-owned small businesses.

More than 20 years ago, Congress set a goal of awarding 5 percent of federal contracts to women-owned businesses. Still, last year only 4.3 percent of contracts were awarded to those businesses.

If the 5 percent goal is reached, New York City women-owned small businesses would grow their revenue by $56 million, according to Gillibrand.

The legislation, called The Women’s Small Businesses Procurement Parity Act, would expand opportunities for women by providing greater access to sole-source contracts. It would also put women-owned small businesses in contact with groups that can help land them federal dollars.

“When we equip more Queens women entrepreneurs with access and opportunities to achieve their best in the economy, and their best for their family, that’s when America’s middle class will thrive again,” Gillibrand said. “Without a doubt, if given a fair shot, women-owned businesses will help grow our economy.”

According to Gillibrand and Meng, many federal contracts go to the largest companies in the country, which are overwhelmingly owned and operated by men.

The new legislation would promote using smaller businesses with an emphasis in partnering with women- and minority-owned companies.

Amy Williams, the chief operating officer of Data Conversion Laboratory, attested to the struggle women-owned businesses face when trying to obtain federal contracts.

“We have been given a few federal contracts, but never as the sole source,” she said. “This legislation will provide us with the tools to level the playing field.”

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1 comment:

  • Arshad Sherif MA MEd posted at 3:48 pm on Fri, Aug 15, 2014.

    Arshad Sherif MA MEd Posts: 1

    I have never been a big fan of female politicians doing stuff that is tailored specifically for the female gender. But these very able female legislators have no problem whatsoever saying that they are going to create new laws with the specific aim of helping only those of their own sex. I think male legislators would have a much harder time standing up on a podium and declaring that they will institute laws that will benefit only men. I would like to see a male legislator try to do just that. They will probably hang him by the balls. Maybe women feel okay doing it because no one can hang them by the balls. But they certainly have the balls to stand out there and fight for their own sex. And only their own sex.

    But I would like to know if Nily Rozic and Toby Stavisky actually spoke at this event. They are not quoted anywhere in the article. They are local Queens politicians and this is a local queens paper. There is really quite a bit of irony here. Here we are talking about the importance of women-owned small businesses and we don't hear from the women who are in "smal government." We don't hear from Nily Rozic who is in the New York State Assembly or Toby Stavisky in the New York State Senate. We only hear from the "big government" women, Congresswoman Grace Meng and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. The two big girls who are all about big corporate power and who derive their campaign funding and political momentum from the "Big Boys."

    But Nily Rozic is absolutely gorgeous in her gray dress with the red belt around her waist. She is, without doubt, a rising political star. She is the youngest member of the New York State Assembly and she very likely has her sights set on the U.S. Senate. There can be no doubt that she will one day occupy the seat now held by Kirsten Gillibrand.

    And they have at least one thing in common. Both Kirsten Gillibrand and Nily Rozic are runners. Kirsten has run in the New York City Marathon a couple of times and Nily is an accomplished long-distance runner. Here in the photo, the glamorous Nily Rozic is standing next to and a little behind hottie Kirsten Gillibrand. Nily has Kirsten in her sights, as a runner in second place would. Kirsten is in front now, but Nily will soon be ready to make her move, as a runner would, and challenge her in the home stretch. Can Kirsten compete with a woman twenty years her junior coming from behind and making a final sprint to the finish line?

    No doubt she has it on her mind. No doubt Nily plans to take over from Kirsten and become junior senator. She has the political drive and the political dream. Her sexual orientation is unclear, but she may have an intense desire to give Kirsten a good spanking. If she doesn't use her lovely hands, which are big and firm, she may decide to use that red belt around her gorgeous waist.

    That would be an exciting political race. Maybe the most exciting ever in New York's history.