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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obama's Speech Ignores 98 Percent of U.S. Firms

February 25, 2009

Petaluma, Calif. - As predicted by the American Small Business League (ASBL), President Barack Obama failed to make any reference of his plans to fix existing federal programs designed to direct federal infrastructure spending to America's 27 million small businesses during his address to Congress and the nation Tuesday night.

Top economic experts like Dr. Laura Tyson and Carly Fiorina have both acknowledged that directing federal infrastructure funds to small businesses would be the most effective way to stimulate our nation's failing economy and create jobs. Tyson is the former Chair of the U.S. President's Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton Administration and is currently an economic adviser to President Obama. Fiorina is the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and a former McCain campaign economic advisor.

According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, 98 percent of all American firms have less than 100 employees, 90 percent of all firms in the U.S. have less than 20 employees and those firms are responsible for over 97 percent of all new jobs in America. (

The stimulus bill signed last week by President Obama was designed primarily to create and preserve jobs. Yet not one line of the bill contains specific language to direct any of the stimulus bill's spending to the 98 percent of American firms that create over 97 percent of all new jobs.

In the absence of legislative language to specifically direct the billions of dollars in stimulus bill spending to small businesses, over 90 percent of all prime contracts from the stimulus bill will likely go to the top 2 percent of U.S. firms. This would seem to run contrary to the bill's stated mission of creating jobs.

Congress realized the vital role played by American small businesses when the Small Business Act was passed in 1953. Existing federal law, based on the Small Business Act, stipulates that a minimum of 23 percent of all federal contracts and subcontracts be awarded to small businesses. The federal government is not meeting its goal of 23 percent and is inflating its small business contracting numbers by including contracts to some of the largest corporations in the world.

Since 2003, more than 15 federal investigations have been released which have uncovered the wholesale diversion of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 corporations, their subsidiaries and other clearly large firms. ( ABC, CBS and CNN have aired stories on the investigations. (ABC,; CBS,; CNN,

"Dr. Laura Tyson needs to explain to President Obama, that if you want to stimulate the economy and create new jobs you have to direct federal infrastructure spending to the small businesses that create 97 percent of new jobs," ASBL President Lloyd Chapman said.


Christopher Gunn
Communications Director
American Small Business League
(707) 789-9575

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