(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship (SBC), and U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), Ranking Member of the SBC, led a bipartisan group of Senators to introduce a resolution that recognizes October 2023 as National Women’s Small Business Month. Last night, the resolution passed with unanimous support.

“Women entrepreneurs are at the center of our economy creating new businesses, disrupting established industries and developing innovative products and platforms at a record pace. Despite positive trends, women-owned businesses still face significant institutional barriers like lack of access to quality childcare, fewer role models and mentors, a gender pay gap and unequal access to startup funding and financing,” said Chair Shaheen. “As a former small business owner, I know there is nothing that women cannot achieve if given an equal opportunity to compete. This resolution helps underscore our bipartisan commitment to help women-owned small businesses across the country reach their full economic and job-creating potential. Today – and every day – we must match that commitment with action.”

“Until 1988, women needed a male relative to co-sign if they wanted to apply for a business loan. Now, in 2023, more than 12 million women-owned small businesses across the country are working hard each and every day to serve customers, create jobs, and boost their local economies,” said Ranking Member Ernst. “I will continue working to improve accountability at the Small Business Administration, expand access to childcare slots in our communities, and enhance mentorship opportunities for budding beginners and seasoned entrepreneurs alike. When our local businesses thrive, so does our country!”

Specifically, the resolution underscores the significant contributions of women small business owners and women entrepreneurs to the small business community as a whole:

  • There are over 12 million women-owned businesses in the United States;
  • Women-owned businesses generate $1.8 trillion in total receipts;
  • Women-owned businesses employ over $9.2 million workers; and
  • 38 percent of small business are women-owned.

Resolution text will be available here.

As a long-time member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Chair Shaheen is a fierce advocate for New Hampshire’s—and America’s—small business community. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Shaheen went to bat for small business owners who were among the most severely impacted by the public health crisis. She worked to provide small businesses with the resources they needed to weather and recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading negotiations on provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which established the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and expanded the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, both of which were lifelines for businesses throughout New Hampshire and the country. President Biden signed into law a Shaheen-led bill to require the SBA to create a centralized website that houses compliance guides pertaining to federal regulations impacting small businesses. Biden also signed into law two other Shaheen-led bills that help small businesses with cybersecurity and recover from natural disasters.