March 30, 2011
Petaluma, Calif. – On Monday, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) held the first two meetings of its recently announced, “Small Business Jobs Act Tour.” Small business advocates have complained that the SBA’s meetings are just smoke and mirrors, and will have little impact on America’s 27 million small businesses.
“The SBA’s jobs act tour is nothing more than a PR stunt designed to distract the American people from the Obama Administration’s lack of action. As I have always said, we need to stop listening to what they say and start paying attention to what they are doing. Right now they are allowing the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants to continue,” American Small Business League (ASBL) President Lloyd Chapman said.
Since 2003, a series of federal investigations have uncovered billions of dollars a year in federal small business contracts actually flowing into the hands of Fortune 500 corporations and other clearly large businesses. In Report 5-15, the SBA Office of Inspector General (SBA IG) referred to the issue as, “One of the most important challenges facing the Small Business Administration and the entire Federal government today.” During 2010, the SBA IG named the issue as the agency’s top management challenge for the sixth consecutive year. (http://www.asbl.com/documents/05-15.pdf)
The ASBL has estimated that every year more than $200 billion in federal small business contracts are diverted to corporate giants. (www.asbl.com/documents/ASBL_2009_dataanalysis.pdf)
Nearly a year ago, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) estimated that increasing contracts to small business by 1 percent would create more than 100,000 new jobs. Addressing the diversion of small business contracts to large companies would raise the percentage of federal contracts awarded to small businesses by a staggering 18 percent.
In February of 2008, President Barack Obama promised to end the abuse. Despite, thousands of business closures and countless lost jobs, the Obama Administration has failed to honor its promise, and end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants.
“If the Obama Administration would quit giving federal small business funds to Fortune 500 firms, it would redirect more infrastructure spending to the middle class, and create more jobs than anything they have proposed to date. That would be a real jobs bill.” Chapman said. “I’m predicting that before he is out of office, President Obama is going to try to change the definition of a small business from independently owned to include companies owned and operated by some of the wealthiest venture capitalists in the world.”