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The Women-Owned Small Business Integrity Act of 2024

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In the first quarter of 2024, the House of Representatives passed legislation for women-owned small businesses (WOSB). The bipartisan bill, titled The WOSB Integrity Act of 2024 will ensure that the intended federal contracting budget for women-owned small businesses is awarded only to those who meet criteria established by the U.S Small Business Association (SBA) to ensure that the recipients are, in fact, woman-owned small businesses. The bill is also intended to provide extra security to the pre-existing Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program.

What’s the WOSB Federal Contract Program?

This program is designed to provide an even playing field for female entrepreneurs. Providing contract opportunities that have been reserved for the certified participants of the program. These allow WOSB’s to get into the areas they are underrepresented in and also allow those who are economically disadvantaged to take part. Within this program the federal government has a goal to award at least 5% of federal contracting dollars to women owned business each year while also simply giving assistance to firms who are seeking it.

How does the new bill strengthen the program?

The WOSB Integrity Act of 2024 would require the SBA and other entities to thoroughly verify that the business who wishes to receive federal contracts, meets the set business size standards of the SBA. This is due to the fact that in previous years, the contracting program had been taken advantage of by not-so-small businesses. Due to the ‘self-certification’ process, women-owned businesses do not have to verify that they actually fall into that category but can certify themselves as one. Leaving room for companies to commit fraud and abuse the program. This new act will remove the self-certification process for businesses who want to join the Federal program while going in-depth to verify the possible candidates.

Next steps?

Now that the act has been introduced and passed through the House, it must pass through the Senate. As of March 5, 2024, the bill had been received and read in the Senate and was referred to the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. The committee will study the bill and decide whether to release it or not. If the bill is released, it will be voted on, debated or amended (Any changes to the bill will send it back to the House to ensure members agrees on it). The final version then goes through an approval process. If approved, the bill is sent to the President who has ten days to sign the bill into law or veto it.

What are the odds?

Even though only a small percentage of bills are signed into law, this bill has bipartisan support so there’s some cautious optimism that’s it’s more likely than. not to move through the process and be signed into law by the President. With the goal to ensure that women owned small businesses are being supported on a federal level, it’s a step in the right direction.

As a woman-owned business itself, The Coppola Firm is rooting for the Women Owned Small Business Integrity Act of 2024. 

If you have questions about operating your business, contact us. We may be able to address your question in a future blog.

Lisa Coppola

Written by Lisa Coppola

Founder of The Coppola Firm

Lisa A. Coppola, Esq. understands the challenges her clients face, whether they’re starting a new business, taking their existing operations in a new direction, or facing a claim or threat.

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