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Clarke Highlights Women-Owned Businesses During Women’s History Month

National Women’s History Month, Rep. Yvette D. Clarke highlights the contributions of women-owned firms to the U.S. economy. The Center for Women’s Business Research states that there were an estimated 10.4 million privately-held women-owned firms in 2006, accounting for two in five of all privately held firms in the country.


“Women have made tremendous contributions to the vitality of our economy by leading successful businesses, providing jobs for the people in our communities and guaranteeing quality products and services nationally and internationally,” said Rep. Clarke. “It brings me great joy to highlight their contributions as we observe Women’s History Month.”


In 2006, women-owned firms employed 12.8 million people nationwide, and generated $1.9 trillion in annual sales. Rep. Clarke’s home state of New York accounted for the second largest number of women-owned businesses with 637,037 firms.


Rep. Clarke serves as a member of the Small Business Committee where she fights to ensure that the Equity in Contracting for Women Act (H.R. 4897) is properly enforced. Passed in 2000, the bill allows the Small Business Administration to set aside up to five percent of all contracts to women-owned small businesses. Although women-owned firms account for 41 percent of all privately-held firms in the U.S., they currently receive only 3.3 percent of the Federal contracts.


“As a member of the Small Business Committee, I am committed to making sure that women-owned businesses have the same resources to prosper just as any other business,” Rep. Clarke stated. “I am proud to say that women-owned businesses are the fastest growing sector of all small businesses, but there is more to be done to level the playing field for women. I look forward to working with Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez to make it happen.”


In the face of economic challenges, Rep. Clarke commends women business owners for continuing to provide the necessary jobs for families, and for being role models for young women, creating generations of confident and qualified women leaders in every sector of business. Rep. Clarke salutes the contributions of women-business owners of the past, present and future as they continue to be a vital part of the nation’s economy.