article by Kent Hoover

Women business owners will turn to Congress and the courts for help if the Small Business Administration refuses to expand a federal contracting program for women beyond four narrow industries.

The SBA issued a proposed regulation Dec. 27 that would allow federal agencies to set aside contracts for women-owned businesses in four industries: national security and international affairs; coating, engraving, heat treating and allied activities; household and institutional furniture and kitchen cabinet manufacturing; and other motor vehicle dealers. These are the industries where women have been underrepresented in federal contracting, based on the dollar amounts of contracts awarded, according to the SBA's analysis of a study conducted by the Rand Corp.

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