WBC measure wins Senate backing
An amendment submitted by Senator John Sununu that would bolster support for the nation’s Women’s Business Centers has been unanimously passed by the Senate.
Added to the minimum wage bill, the amendment – which included provisions added by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine – aims to make funding available for WBCs that have succeeded under the federal program but might have to close without continued matching federal assistance, among which is the WBC based in Portsmouth.
It would create a renewable three-year competitive grant program for graduating WBCs, provide WBCs with up to $150,000 in matching federal funds per fiscal year for operating expenses and leverage to raise private-sector money and fund existing WBCs through current program funding, therefore creating no additional cost to taxpayers.
According to Ellen Fineberg, executive director of the Women’s Business Center in Portsmouth, said Sununu’s legislation “will allow for bi-partisan support of the Small Business Administration’s services to women entrepreneurs through Women’s Business Centers nationally,” adding that the measure would “ensure funding sustains the New Hampshire center in our second decade of work promoting women’s business ownership in the Granite State.” – JEFF FEINGOLD