By Steve Viuker
Biz Box Slate
January 26, 2011
Although the State of the Union address given by President Obama was praised by both the AFL-CIO and the U S Chamber of Commerce, small business organizations had mixed feelings; including some very negative comments.
Brett Palmer, President of The National Association of Small Business Investment Companies (NASBIC), said that "aside from being open to removing a major burden he signed into law, (health-care 1099 provision) there was little tangible to assess."
"Center Rock, the small business Obama lauded for playing such a critical role in the Chilean miner rescue, received its capital through a Small Business Investment Company (SBIC). It is creating self sustaining private sector jobs across the country. That wasn't mentioned by the President."
Said Dan Danner, President and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business, (NFIB) “While there were a few hopeful moments for small-business owners in the president’s speech last night, overall our impression is that, when the Obama administration talks about ‘business’ they really mean big business. Increasing trade and cutting corporate taxes are big-business issues. Very few small firms engage in international trade or pay corporate taxes."
“We do appreciate the president’s mention of repeal the health-care law’s 1099 provision. It is something that is a terrible burden on small firms and never should have been in the law to begin with. With no mention of the job-creating power of small businesses, and no proposals to unleash their enormous potential, the small-business community is left with the feeling that the president doesn’t ‘get’ small business. We’d be happy to help him get to know us better.”
The NSBA did have lukewarm praise for the speech. “Innovation is what we do. Small firms produce five times as many patents per revenue dollar as large companies and 20 times as many as universities,” stated Larry Nannis, National Small Business Association chair and shareholder at Levine, Katz, Nannis + Solomon, P.C.. “We applaud the president’s commitment to innovation and look forward to joint efforts ensuring the continued success of programs such as the Small Business Innovation Research program.”
The harshest overview came from Lloyd Chapman, President of the American Small Business League. "President Obama is just like an actor, playing a role, and reading his lines," he said. "When people watch President Obama on television they need to realize this is a man that has broken virtually every campaign promise he has ever made to small businesses."
"In February of 2008, President Obama promised to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants, yet today this abuse continues to pull billions of dollars a month out of the middle class economy. This is a President that has allowed Wall St. to continue to make record profits; while our homes are worth less and less, unemployment continues to go up, and the middle class continues to suffer. Political rhetoric without action is meaningless."