June 19, 2021

Duckworth Discusses Support for Women-Owned Businesses with Black Female Business Owners


[CHICAGO, IL] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today met with Black women business owners in Chicago to discuss ways to increase support to women- and Black-owned businesses. Duckworth met with Truth Italian restaurant owner Peytyn Wilborn-Mayes, Pier 31 and Pier 31 Riverwalk owner Nikki Hayes and Licorice Lounge owner Donna Grant. Earlier this week, Duckworth introduced legislation to help increase support to female entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses. Photos from today’s meeting are available here.

As we work to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, we should be doing everything we can to help businesses grow and create jobs in their communities, especially women-owned businesses,” said Duckworth. “Leveling the playing field for women entrepreneurs—especially for Black female business owners—is critical, and we can help do that by making sure they have the necessary access to resources across federal agencies.”

Duckworth introduced the Interagency Committee on Women’s Business Enterprise Act this week, which would reauthorize the Interagency Committee for Women’s Business Enterprise (ICWBE) to help coordinate federal resources to encourage the formation, growth and success of women-owned businesses.

As a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Duckworth is a strong supporter of helping small business owners – especially those from diverse backgrounds – access the resources they need to succeed. Key provisions of Duckworth’s Microloan Program Expansion Act were included in the bipartisan COVID-19 relief deal and omnibus agreement last year, including providing the SBA Microloan Program with $50 million for technical assistance to small businesses, and funds that will leverage $64 million in direct, low-cost loans for small businesses as they struggled with the economic impacts of COVID-19.