June 23, 2010
The Obama Administration has finally released the agenda of its June 28 small business forum. When the small business forum was originally announced on June 14, the administration requested input from small business owners and offered them the opportunity to sign up to address members of President Obama's "Interagency Task Force" on small business.
After angry small business owners from around the country registered to attend the forum and speak, the agenda was abruptly modified to apparently preclude any unscripted comments that could embarrass the Obama Administration with the attending press.
Small business owners were provided an agenda for the event via e-mail on Monday, just a week before the forum is scheduled to begin. According to the new guidelines, comments are to be limited to only three narrowly focused categories.
Small business owners that were preparing to blast the Obama Administration for giving less than 3 percent of the stimulus funds to small businesses, and breaking a series of campaign promises to the small business community, will not have that opportunity under the new agenda.
During the 2008 Presidential Campaign, President Obama promised to restore the Small Business Administration's (SBA) budget and staffing, restore the SBA Administrator to a cabinet level position, and implement the 5 percent set-aside contracting goal for women-owned firms, which was passed by Congress in 2000.
In February of 2008, President Obama also released the statement, "It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants." (http://www.barackobama.com/2008/02/26/the_american_small_business_le.php)
To date, President Obama has failed to honor any of his campaign promises to small business owners. The American Small Business League (ASBL) recently released a study, which found 16 instances where President Obama adopted polices that were harmful to small businesses. (http://www.asbl.com/documents/20100526_ASBL_AnalysisObamaSB.pdf)
The most recent data released by the federal government indicates the Obama Administration has diverted billions of dollars in federal small business contracts to corporate giants in the United States, Europe and Asia. Firms included in the Obama Administration small business data included Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Ssangyong Corporation headquartered in South Korea, and Italian firm Finmeccanica SpA. (http://www.asbl.com/documents/20090825TopSmallBusinessContractors2008.pdf)
"If President Obama sincerely wanted to stimulate the economy and help the small businesses that create nearly 100 percent of net new jobs, he would quit diverting federal small business funds to Fortune 500 firms," ASBL President Lloyd Chapman stated.
Please click here to watch a clip regarding the ASBL's concerns: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJh26mQySos