This Tuesday we were honored to host a briefing at the White House for Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP). Over 140 WIPP and umbrella group members arrived to represent women business owners and to promote economic growth. WIPP includes more than half a million women business owners, community leaders, and trailblazers in policy and politics. WIPP’s visit was a chance for us to discuss together the Administration’s commitment to strengthening the American economy.
Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, welcomed and thanked WIPP for their work to bring about meaningful change for women in business. Valerie commended WIPP President Barbara Kasoff for her leadership as one of the preeminent voices for business women. She reviewed President Obama’s focus on small businesses as America’s engines of growth, which are responsible for creating two out of every three American jobs in the country. She spoke of the importance of the President’s leadership in signing the landmark Small Business Jobs Act this week, which establishes a $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund to support community bank lending. The new law also contains eight more tax cuts for small businesses, eliminates capital gains taxes on key investments, and extends successful loan enhancements to provide more than $500 million in additional capital to small businesses.
Austan Goolsbee, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers and Chief Economist on the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, then spoke to WIPP about the stimulus package, regulatory reform, and the recent appointment of Elizabeth Warren as Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to Secretary Geithner. Goolsbee emphasized the importance of helping businesses, especially small businesses, and of our collective efforts to work together to create job growth. He also highlighted the President’s focus on education and training as a critical first step towards enabling broader employment.
Nancy-Ann DeParle, Director of the White House Office of Health Reform, spoke about the Affordable Care Act and stressed its benefits for women and businesses through cost cutting and increased accessibility measures. Nancy-Ann urged the group to explore the range of available health care plans and to ask health care providers to clarify insurance plans.
Rosie Rios, Treasurer of the United States, focused on Treasury's role in the economic recovery including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Financial Regulatory Reform and most recently, the passage of the Small Business Lending Fund. In addition, she also provided an overview of the Community Development Financial Institution Fund, the New Market Tax Credits and the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion.
Jenny Kaplan, Deputy Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, spoke about the Council’s efforts to empower and educate women. She elaborated on the Council’s work thus far and announced the Women’s Entrepreneurship Conference on October 4th with senior White House officials and business leaders, and President Obama’s address to the 2010 Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit on October 5th. Together, these events will focus on the impact of women in business and the steps we can take together to ensure that the country remains competitive over the long-term.
To close the briefing, I spoke about the work of the White House Business Council which interacts with the business community through its ten Agency and Department members: Commerce, Labor, Energy, Ex-Im, Treasury, Trade, SBA, Justice, Homeland Security, and the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.
Overall, the briefing brought together women business owners in a valuable and meaningful dialogue with the Administration as we collaborate together and strive towards continued economic recovery.
Elizabeth Vale is Executive Director of the White House Business Council