NAWBO Columbus Applauds Rep. Anne Gonzales


The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Columbus, Ohio Chapter, the largest chapter in the country, applauds Rep. Anne Gonzales for the introduction this week of Ohio House Bill 492 which would create the Women-Owned Business Enterprise Program in Ohio.

According to the 2016 “State of Women-Owned Businesses Report” commissioned by American Express, an estimated 11.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States employ nearly 9 million people and generate more than $1.7 trillion in revenues.

Women-owned businesses represent 39% of all firms; however, a report entitled “Utilization of Women-Owned Businesses in Federal Prime Contracting,” prepared by the Office of the Chief Economist in the U.S. Department of Commerce, reports that women-owned companies are 21 percent less likely than their male-owned counterparts to win government contracts and only recently received just 5 percent of eligible contracts.

In addition to the underrepresentation of women-owned firms receiving government contracts, some of Ohio’s neighboring states and many other states across the country require certification in Ohio as a women-owned firm in order to use their states’ certification programs when competing for government contracts.

House Bill 492 would create a women-owned business enterprise program that asks Ohio’s agencies to establish goals to increase awareness and access to government contracts for women-owned businesses.

Representative Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville) introduced the legislation this week. “I want to bring awareness and attention to women-owned businesses which are underrepresented in government contracting. Ohio’s lack of a certification program for women businesses is placing Ohio businesses at a disadvantage.”

The bill also allows Ohio to enter into reciprocal agreements with states who have similar certification programs. 

Ohio needs to open its door to fair competition, so Ohio companies can compete fairly here and across the country”, said NAWBO Columbus President, Catherine Lang-Cline. “We commend Rep. Gonzales for her appreciation of the impact that women-owned businesses make in Ohio and look forward to working with her and the Ohio General Assembly on this important bill.”

NAWBO Columbus is Central Ohio’s premier organization for women business owners. With members earning more than $1 billion in annual revenues and employing upwards of 1,000 people, NAWBO Columbus elevates women business owners through connections, advocacy and mentorship. We believe women business owners are vital to the economic prosperity of central Ohio and beyond. For more information on membership, upcoming networking and educational events, and more, visit