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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Small Business, 'The Back-Bone of America'

Today, I read a blog posted by Jim Peake at, which highlights statements made by national public figures: Senator John Kerry, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Governor Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey and even Vice President Dick Cheney concerning small businesses. Each of which used the phrase, "Back-bone of America," to describe the social and economic impact of small businesses in the United States.

It is amazing that with such powerful words to describe the importance of small businesses to America; the White House has cut the SBA budget and is against any program to increase contracts for small businesses and the SBA its self is against a piece of legislation to give more contracts to small businesses. In fact, the White House has openly opposed H.R. 1873 the, "Small Business Fairness in Contracting Act."

Here are some facts: 98 percent of businesses in the United States have less than 100 employees, 89 percent have less than 20 employees. Additionally, there are 25,000,000 small businesses in the United States, which employ 50.1 percent of the private workforce. Small Businesses are the back-bone of America's economy, and it seems like maybe it is time the federal government to start treating them as such.

Here is the link to the blog:

California Small Businesses Plead with Senators to End Fraud and Abuse in Federal Small Business Contracting

Small business owners across the State of California are contacting United States Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and asking for their help to halt the flow of government small business contracts to Fortune 1000 corporations.

To date, fourteen different federal investigations have all found that billions of dollars in contracts earmarked for legitimate small businesses have instead found their way into the hands of some of the largest companies in the United States and Europe.

The bill, H.R. 1873 the “Small Business Fairness in Contracting Act,” passed through the House of Representatives last week and will allow large companies like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Halliburton, Rolls-Royce and L3 Communications to keep their existing federal small business contracts for up to five more years.

Small business owners are asking Senators Boxer and Feinstein to amend the bill and push for the immediate removal of all Fortune 1000 corporations and other large companies from federal small business contracting programs and to force all firms with existing federal small business contracts to re-certify on an annual basis.

The campaign to garner the support of Senators Boxer and Feinstein has been organized by the Petaluma, California based American Small Business League. If Senators Boxer and Feinstein can convince the Senate to add a provision in the new legislation to close the loophole that allows Fortune 1000 corporations to obtain small business contracts, the ASBL predicts that up to $60 billion a year in federal small business contracts would be re-directed to legitimate small businesses in California as well as every other state in the country.

Federal procurement for small businesses is centralized within 50 miles of Washington D.C. and an annual re-certification provision would de-centralize that procurement and spread those purchases and contract dollars more equitably around the nation.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Fact 9: SBA Myth vs. Fact Press Release Debunked by American Small Business League

Fact 9. SBA's re-certification proposal is the same as the unpopular “grandfathering” plan proposed by the SBA in 2004.

Proof - In their response to the ASBL press release the SBA said, “No proposal for a ‘grandfathering’ provision was ever made...” Yet, it was published in the Federal Register in volume 69, 70200, No 232 on December 3, 2004. And, multiple publications prove otherwise. Also, in a June 9, 2005 story in the Miami Herald titled, “Small Business Seek Fair Fight for Contracts,” SBA spokesman Gary Jackson admitted that the SBA would pursue a five-year grandfathering plan. Again, in the Chicago Tribune on June 21, 2005 in a story titled, “SBA Hearing Fields Opinions on Small Business,” an SBA spokesperson talked about a five-year plan. Several other stories were written about the SBA grandfathering proposal.

The SBA grandfathering plan would allow any firm with an existing federal small business contract to keep it for five more years. The five-year re-certification plan will allow any firm with an existing small business contract to keep it for five more years.

As far as the federal small business contracts currently held by Fortune 1000 firms, grandfathering and 5-year recertification are virtually identical.

One Question For Senator John Kerry, Representative Nydia Velázquez and Representative Henry Waxman

If the "Small Business Fairness in Contracting Act" becomes law, will contracts to Fortune 500 firms with existing federal small business contracts continue to be counted towards the federal governments small business-contracting goal?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Fact 8: SBA Myth vs. Fact Press Release Debunked by American Small Business League

Fact 8. Since 2002, 14 federal investigations have found billions of dollars have been diverted from legitimate small businesses to Fortune 1000 companies and subsidiaries across the country.

Proof- The SBA’s assertion that there have not been 14 federal investigations is blatantly false. These reports and key statements are readily available on the ASBL website. In this response the SBA tries again to mislead by diverting attention from the fact that only a very small percentage of the contracts that the federal government reports as going to small businesses are actually formal set aside contracts. Again, the SBA fails to mention, that the policy allowing Fortune 1000 firms to acquire a small business and keep the small business status for 20 years was originally drafted by the SBA.

Again, SBA Inspector General Reports 5-14, 5-15 and 5-16 all found large businesses were receiving federal small business contracts. The Eagle Eye report from the SBA Office of Advocacy found “vendor deception” -- more evidence of fraud. A report from the Center for Public Integrity found the Pentagon alone had awarded over $47 billion in small business contracts to some of the nations largest defense contractors. Investigative reports by ABC, CBS and CNN all found Fortune 1000 firms were receiving billions of dollars in federal small business contracts to Firms like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Titan Industries, L3 Communications, Rolls Royce and AT&T who did not recently out grow their small business status.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Fact 7: SBA Refuses to Release Names of Small Businesses Awarded Federal Contracts

Proof- Try and find them. On numerous occasions the ASBL has asked the SBA to release the names of firms reported as small businesses several times. They have consistently refused. As far as the Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation, the ASBL challenges anyone to try and use it. In 2006, ASBL President, Lloyd Chapman offered a $10,000 reward to anyone that could provide him with an accurate list of the firms the federal government reported as small businesses. No one was able to provide the information. Even experts like Paul Murphy of Eagle Eye Publishers wasn't exactly sure who got the contracts. Dozens of journalist have asked the SBA for the information, but the SBA routinely declined the requests.