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Oklahoma Senator Calls for Hearing to Abolish Small Business Programs

Anti-Small Business Proponents have been called to testify against the SBA

March 28, 2006

PETALUMA, Calif., March 28, 2006 /PRNewswire/ Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has called for a Congressional hearing to be held on April 6th to hear testimony from individuals that believe the Federal Government should eliminate programs that assist small businesses, woman-owned firms, minority-owned firms and firms owned by disabled veterans. Government officials have repeatedly denied any plan to close the Small Business Administration and end programs that have directed over $119 billion in Federal contracts and subcontracts to firms designated as small. The Senate hearing indicates that rumors about government plans to close the SBA may be accurate.

Veronique de Rugy, of the American Enterprise Institute, is one of the individuals who has been called to testify. In a recent editorial on Forbes.com, Ms. de Rugy reiterated her recommendation to "abolish the SBA and get rid of subsidies aimed at small business." She further states that the government should not be giving small firms any "special regulatory treatment or preferential access to government contracts." What she fails to acknowledge is that small businesses are where most Americans work and where most U.S. tax revenue is derived.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, more than 95 percent of all Oklahoma businesses have fewer than 50 employees and more than 45 percent of its workforce is employed by small businesses. Eagle Eye Publishers, a research company that tracks Federal contracting, reports that the top ten small business contractors alone in Oklahoma received more $375 million in awards during fiscal year 2004. If the SBA is closed, Oklahoma entrepreneurs will lose a major source of small business loans and hundreds of millions of dollars in Federal small business contracts and subcontracts.

"I think that small business owners in Oklahoma should be outraged that one of their senators is trying to bring an end to programs that are so vital to the state's economy," stated Lloyd Chapman, President of the American Small Business League. "If the government ends small business contracting programs, then $119 billion in awards currently set aside for small firms will go to large firms which make up only 2% of U.S. employers. Small business owners in Oklahoma need to get on the phone or on the Internet and let their Congressional delegates know that they don't want the government to eliminate Federal programs for small business. Once these programs are gone, we will never get them back."

About the ASBL
The American Small Business League was formed to promote and advocate policies that provide the greatest opportunity for small businesses - the 98% of U.S. companies with less than 100 employees. The ASBL is founded on the principle that small businesses, the backbone of a vital American economy, should receive the fair treatment promised by the Small Business Act of 1953. Representing small businesses in all fields and industries throughout the United States, the ASBL monitors existing policies and proposed policy changes by the Small Business Administration and other federal agencies that affect its members.


Lloyd Chapman



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