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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Huffington Post: Blackwater Gets a Billion in Small Business Contracts with Help from SBA Loophole

A new report from the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Inspector General found Blackwater Worldwide had received "at least 100 small business set-aside contracts, worth over $144 million, since 2000." Additionally, the report pointed to the SBA's highly controversial ruling regarding Blackwater's size as a major contributing factor to the inclusion of Blackwater in federal small business contracting statistics.

In November of 2006, the SBA ruled that Blackwater was a small business by considering a substantial number of the firm's employees to be independent contractors. According to the SBA Inspector General report, more than 1000 employees were considered independent contractors and were not counted towards the company's size determination by the SBA. As a result, Blackwater was able to avoid the 1,500-employee size threshold for their industry and qualify for federal small business contracts. The SBA's interpretation helped Blackwater circumvent normal federal small business size standards. Without the SBA's loophole specifically created for Blackwater, the company would exceed the small business size standard by more than 250 employees and would not be eligible for federal small business contracts.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lloyd Chapman on the Huffington Post: SBA Goes After Its Harshest Critic

Petaluma, Calif. - The American Small Business League (ASBL) has uncovered an extensive campaign by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to impugn the organization's credibility and defame its President, Lloyd Chapman.

A number of journalists have informed the ASBL that after quoting Chapman in stories on the diversion of federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 firms, they received aggressive phone calls and e-mails from the Director of the SBA's Press Office, Mike Stamler attempting to discredit Chapman and the ASBL.

In one case, after quoting Chapman in a story, the Long Island Business Journal (LIBJ) received a series of aggressive correspondence from Stamler, which was so profane in nature that editors of the paper responded by publishing a blog entitled, "Expletives the SBA's Forte." (

The ASBL has responded to the SBA's actions by using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to request all e-mail correspondence to and from Mike Stamler during the years 2006 and 2007.

Although the SBA has refused to release all of Stamler's correspondence, the SBA has released some correspondence, which clearly demonstrates a pattern of libelous communication between Stamler and journalists regarding Chapman. The emails went as far as to attack the credibility of the ASBL's contracting data, which actually was data the SBA was forced to release to ASBL after losing four FOIA lawsuits to them.

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