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Monday, September 21, 2009

Senate Committee Snubs Small Business Champions

September 21, 2009

Petaluma, Calif. - On Tuesday, September 22, 2009, the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship will hold a roundtable discussion regarding contracting reform for small businesses, yet no individual with any track record of successfully campaigning for small businesses has been invited to testify.

The American Small Business League (ASBL) is raising concerns regarding the lack of small business voices that will be present at the committee-run roundtable event. The roundtable is tentatively scheduled to include: Joseph Jordan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and representatives from the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Department of Defense, according to a committee staffer.

The ASBL points to the fact that it is the only organization that has written a bill to address long standing abuses in federal small business contracting programs. Since 2002, the ASBL has waged a seven-year battle to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to large corporations. Despite the ASBL's documentable track record of advocacy, the committee has snubbed them repeatedly.

"We don't expect to be invited to these types of meetings because the Senate Committee on Small Business has no interest in contracting reform," ASBL President Lloyd Chapman said. "Since 2003, over a dozen federal investigations have found that billions of dollars in contracts earmarked for small businesses have been diverted to Fortune 500 firms. This issue has been featured on every major television network and in every major newspaper in the country, yet the committee has failed to lift a finger to stop it for seven years. 2009 represents the tenth anniversary of the diversion of federal small business contracts to large corporations."

Information in the Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation (FPDS - NG) indicates that the Obama Administration included billions of dollars in contracts awarded to Fortune 500 firms and even some of the largest corporations in the world towards its fiscal year (FY) 2008 small business goals. Firms such as: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Dell Computers, British Aerospace (BAE), Rolls-Royce, French giant Thales, Ssangyong Corporation headquartered in South Korea and the Italian Finmeccanica SpA, received billions of dollars in federal small business contracts during FY 2008.

In the last decade, no member of the Senate Small Business Committee has proposed legislation to stem the flow of federal small business contracts to corporate giants. ASBL points to the fact that in 2009, the Senate Small Business Committee unanimously passed a bill that would allow companies owned by some of the nation's wealthiest investors to receive federal small business contracts.

"Small business owners around the country refer to that committee as the Senate Anti-Small Business Committee," Chapman said.



Stefan Topfer said...

It's the same the world over - SMEs generate over 50% GDP, over 50% employment and over 60% of all innovation - and guess what, the political establishment at best ignores this market segment.

They don't understand it, it's not homogeneous enough and it worries most politicians.

IMO, they are incapable to deal with real life scenarios.

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