By Dorothy Price Hill & Mary Smith
As we progress through October, we wish to acknowledge “Women’s Small Business Month” and to honor women for their contributions to the US economy. Governor Romney believes that economic prosperity and freedom go hand in hand. He recently stated,
“The most successful countries shared something in common. They were the freest. They protected the rights of the individual. They enforced the rule of law. And they encouraged free enterprise. They understood that economic freedom is the only force in history that has consistently lifted people out of poverty – and kept people out of poverty.”
With this in mind, we will discuss legislative achievements that have propelled women to be a dynamic and vital part of the US economy. Additionally, we will discuss women-owned businesses from a legislative perspective. Governor Romney will ensure women (including millions of working mothers) continue to thrive and be a vital force in our economy’s recovery and we will identify challenges faced by women owned businesses.
When considering the Presidential choices before us, it is important to note that past behavior is the greatest predictor of future behavior. In this regard, President Obama is the antithesis of Governor Romney. The current President has expanded government, increased the deficit and proposed higher taxes which would further cripple America small businesses. Since President Obama became President, gas prices have increased, household incomes have fallen and more Americans have sunk into poverty as well as experienced first-time foreclosure of their only home (or have already completed the foreclosure process). Worse yet, he has added over $5 trillion in new debt to our Federal budget deficit and lacks the leadership to bring our government back from the edge of this fiscal cliff. In 2009, small businesses represented 99.7% of all employers in the United States. Think about your local florist, the daycare center and the automobile repair center. These business owners are increasingly concerned about the Federal and State deficits, the burdens of corporate taxes and the Obamacare Federal healthcare mandate.
Quoting Andrea Saul, Governor Romney’s Press Secretary, “Thanks to President Obama’s imaginary recovery, the median earnings for women declined by nearly $1,000. And the poverty rate among women is 16.3% — the highest rate in 17 years.” And as CNN Money stated, “The ‘mancession’ has morphed into the ‘hecovery,’ leaving women workers largely in the dust.” Make no mistake about it — women are worried. And they’re not just worried about themselves — they’re worried about their children’s future. They don’t want them to be saddled with debt from our generation, which has surpassed a record-high $16 trillion. This isn’t the recovery we deserve — and it’s a not a real recovery if it means that women have to take on two or three jobs just to afford to put gas in their cars and food on the table.”
Unlike President Obama, Governor Romney gets it: women drive the US economy. His pro-growth, pro-women plan for a stronger (and rebounding) middle class means more jobs, more take-home pay, and better opportunities. Governor Romney has devoted his entire life since business school and law school supporting successful ventures and advising businesses on transformation. As Governor of Massachusetts, he led by example embracing diversity and seeking the most qualified candidates for his cabinet and executive offices. In Governor Romney’s acceptance speech for the Republican nomination, he stated, “As governor of Massachusetts, I chose a woman lieutenant governor, a woman chief of staff, half of my cabinet and senior officials were women, and in business I mentored and supported great women leaders who went on to run great companies.” His proposals for his Presidency include reducing government spending and creating a business-friendly environment which will provide opportunity for prosperity and success. Without prosperity and success coupled with tackling the budget deficit, future generations of Americans will be doomed.
We will discuss two key pieces of legislation that have positively and profoundly impacted women and the economy. As we embark on this new century, it is important to reflect on the accomplishments that women in business have achieved. On October 25, 1988, Republican President Ronald Reagan signed Public Law (PL) 100-533 “The Women’s Business Ownership Act”. Highlights of this bill included: