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Rep. Chu Introduces PROGRESS Act to Promote Women-Owned Businesses

April 20, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON  Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) today introduced the Providing Real Opportunities for Growth to Rising Entrepreneurs for Sustained Success (PROGRESS) Act to help female entrepreneurs access the capital needed to start their businesses. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV).


When starting a business, women are less likely to obtain a bank loan than their male counterparts, and typically start with just half as much capital. The PROGRESS Act would address this disparity by creating two new tax incentives. The First Employee Credit, equal to 25% of W-2 wages reported, is an annual credit available to businesses that are majority owned by US individuals that each earn $100,000 or less per year as well as certain businesses that have not reported full-time equivalent W-2 wages in a previous year. The Investor Credit, equal to up to 50% of a qualified debt or equity investment, is available to eligible businesses that have at least 1 full-time equivalent employee and are majority owned by at least 1 full-time equivalent employee earning $100,000 or less per year. Rep. Chu issued the following statement:


“As we rebuild our economy following the COVID-19 pandemic, we will rely on small businesses to create new jobs and spur economic activity. But as we saw from the initial rollout of the Paycheck Protection Program at the start of this pandemic, big businesses with relationships at the biggest banks typically have the easiest time accessing capital, while smaller businesses – especially those owned by women and people of color – have the hardest time. In fact, we know that Black women entrepreneurs are 20% less likely to be able to fund their startups with bank business loans. That is why we must address access to capital for all Americans if we are going to get our country running again, and that is what this bill will do by helping even the smallest of businesses get off the ground.”


A summary of the bill can be found online []here. The bill text can be found []here.