August 17, 2011
Petaluma, Calif. – The following is a statement by the American Small Business League:
Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) has introduced legislation that could devastate small businesses nationwide and in his home state of North Carolina. S. 1116, the “Department of Commerce and the Workforce Consolidation Act,” could eliminate all federal programs to assist small businesses, costing the nation millions of jobs.
Senator Burr’s bill puts North Carolina’s more than 172,000 small businesses at risk of losing access to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) assistance programs. In 2008, these businesses accounted for 47.9 percent of the state’s private sector workforce. More than 3,500 small businesses in North Carolina received more than $2 billion in federal contracts during FY 2009. This bill could eliminate programs designed to help those businesses land federal contracts, a problem small businesses already face as the majority of small business contracts go to large businesses.
The federal government has a congressionally mandated goal of awarding 23 percent of contract dollars to small businesses. However, according to the Federal Procurement Data System, in FY 2010, only about five percent of total federal contract dollars went to small businesses.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, small businesses create 90 percent of net new jobs. Ninety eight percent of all U.S. firms have less than 100 employees. These firms employ more than half of the private sector workforce, are responsible for half of GDP and more than 90 percent of all U.S. exports. http://www.sba.gov/advocacy/7495/8420
Senator Burr’s bill is just the latest attempt by GOP lawmakers to close the SBA and end programs to assist the nation’s chief job creators.
President Ronald Reagan tried to shut the agency down on two separate occasions, reported in Time Magazine and on ABC News. In 1996, the Republican controlled House of Representatives attempted to eliminate the agency.
Republican President George W. Bush removed the SBA Administrator from a Cabinet-level position and slashed the SBA budget by more than 60 percent.
“Senator Burr’s bill is designed to direct 100 percent of federal contracts to Fortune 500 corporations,” said ASBL President Lloyd Chapman. “If the bill passes, small businesses that create virtually all net new jobs will be excluded from federal contract programs.”