Last week, the WBDC had the honor of hosting a roundtable discussion with U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios. Treasurer Rios and other White House Business Council members will host these roundtables in at least 100 communities across the country by year-end, with the purpose of listening to local businesses and getting feedback on how the Administration can best support their growth. The WBDC is committed to advocacy on behalf of women and minority business owners in both the public and private sectors, and we applaud the administration’s efforts to hear from business owners and incorporate their views and concerns into the development of programs and policies.
Treasurer Rios shared her passion for supporting small businesses and women in business. She’s also led several initiatives which have highlighted the role of women in the economic recovery of the past few years, and she participates in the White House Council on Women and Girls. While she was the only woman confirmed in the Treasury Department in 2009, there are now five Senate confirmed women in the Treasury.
It was our great pleasure to introduce Treasurer Rios to 20 successful Chicago-area women business owners, all whom are clients of the WBDC. Business owners represented a variety of industries including construction, IT, child care, printing, management consulting and food. Many shared that while they have found innovative ways to continue growing, access to capital remains difficult. Small business owners also need better and increased communication about government contracting opportunities, mentor-protégé programs and the new SBA Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Contracting program. Government contracting will be a major emphasis at the upcoming SBA Illinois Small Business Week event on June 30, 2011.