FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2009
Petaluma, Calif. – Since President Barack Obama took office in January, over $16 billion in federal small business contracts have been diverted to Fortune 500 firms. By the end of President Obama's first year in office, the American Small Business League (ASBL) estimates that number will top $100 billion.
Over a dozen federal investigations have found the Bush Administration allowed billions of dollars in federal small business contracts to be diverted to many of the largest firms in America. Several of the investigations concluded that outright fraud was one of the reasons large businesses were receiving federal small business contracts.
In March of 2005, the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Inspector General referred to the abuses as, "One of the most important challenges facing the Small Business Administration and the entire Federal government today…" (http://www.sba.gov/IG/05-15.pdf)
During his campaign, President Obama promised small business owners he would end the abuses if he were elected. In February of 2008, he released the statement, "It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants." (http://www.barackobama.com/2008/02/26/the_american_small_business_le.php)
Small business owners around the country are understandably outraged that President Obama has gone back on his campaign promise and has consistently refused to support any legislation or policy to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 firms and thousands of other large businesses.
U.S. Census data shows firms with 100 employees or less make up 98 percent of all American firms and are responsible for over 98 percent of all new jobs. These firms employ over 50 percent of all private sector workers.
Small business owners and advocates agree that bringing an end to the fraud and abuses that are pulling over $100 billion a year out of the middle class economy would create more jobs and stimulate the economy more than any of the policies President Obama has proposed so far.
The American Small Business League (ASBL) has won five federal lawsuits under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) against the Bush Administration to expose the abuses. The group plans to continue to file lawsuits against the Obama Administration until President Obama keeps his campaign promise to, "end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants."