FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 5, 2009
Petaluma, Calif. - National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) President Mark Heesen issued a press release Tuesday that finally acknowledged the NVCA and its wealthy members have set their sights on federal contracts earmarked for small businesses.
In the press release, Heesen acknowledged the NVCA had asked Congress to allow firms controlled by some of the nation's wealthiest investors to land federal small business grants under the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program.
In addition to the SBIR program, the NVCA has blanketed Congress with millions of dollars in political contributions aimed at changing the existing federal definition of a small business, which is currently defined as "independently owned." The NVCA is pushing to change the government's definition of a small business for all federal small business contracting programs to include firms that could be owned by well-heeled venture capitalists and some of the largest venture capital firms in America.
Small business advocates are concerned the legislation the NVCA is advocating for would create a colossal loophole in federal contracting law that would divert billions of dollars in federal small business contracts to wealthy investors and destroy millions of legitimate small businesses and middle class jobs.
In recent years, the NVCA's efforts to take over federal small business contracting programs have been opposed by the White House, the Small Business Administration (SBA), the United States Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Government Contractors, the National Small Businesses Association, the American Small Business League (ASBL) and hundreds of other small business groups and individual chambers of commerce across the country.
The ASBL is concerned President Obama's appointment of venture capitalist Karen Mills to head the SBA could spell disaster for millions of American small businesses.
ASBL President Lloyd Chapman has consistently opposed the NVCA's campaign to take over federal small business contracting programs.
"The NVCA has tried to paint its legislation as something that will benefit small businesses. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is about greed, money and profits for the NVCA and it's members at the expense of legitimate small businesses," Chapman said. "Their multi-million dollar lobbying campaign is nothing more than a blatant attempt to buy legislation that will allow their members to hijack federal small business contracts. If the NVCA succeeds, millions of hard working small business could be forced to close their doors and millions of jobs will be lost. Any member of Congress that votes for this anti-small business legislation should be run out of office."