President, American Small Business League
In December of 2008, President Barack Obama’s Presidential transition team estimated that for every billion dollars spent on federal infrastructure projects, 40,000 jobs would be created nationwide. (http://tiny.cc/POj7a ) Yet on Thursday, the Obama Administration released its first report on the distribution of dollars under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) claiming that it has distributed $16 billion in stimulus funds and created 30, 383 jobs. (http://bit.ly/1ulfGz)
Based on the Obama Administration’s December 2008 estimates regarding job creation, the ARRA funds spent to date should have created 640,000 jobs. Thursday’s numbers represent a shortfall of 609, 617 jobs.
The American Small Business League (ASBL) maintains that if the Obama Administration had allocated more money for small businesses, the ARRA funds spent would have created significantly more jobs.
The ASBL points to the following:
- According to data from the United States Census Bureau, businesses with fewer than 20 employees account for 90 percent of all U.S. firms, and are responsible for more than 97 percent of all net new jobs.
- Small businesses are responsible for more than 50 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 90 percent of innovations and over 50 percent of our nation’s non-farm private sector workforce. (http://www.sba.gov/advo/research/profiles/08us.pdf)
On Oct. 2, the Small Business Administration claimed that small businesses had been awarded nearly 26 percent of all federal stimulus dollars awarded to date, or $4 billion. (http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/1009/100609rb1.htm)
That said, the ASBL has found significant discrepancies in the government’s data, which are consistent with more than 15 federal investigations indicating that every year billions of dollars in federal contracts intended for small businesses actually go to some of the largest corporations in the world. Since 2003, firms like: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Dell Computer, British Aerospace (BAE), Rolls-Royce, French giant Thales, Ssangyong Corporation headquartered in South Korea and the Italian Finmeccanica SpA, have received billions of dollars in federal small business contracts.
With that in mind, small businesses have received a mere fraction of the total dollars awarded by the government, while Fortune 500 corporations are reaping the benefits of the stimulus.
If President Obama is serious about creating jobs and stimulating our nation’s economy, he should honor his campaign promise to, “stop the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants,” by issuing an executive order or by supporting H.R. 2568, the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act of 2009. (http://bit.ly/4fRrGq, http://www.asbl.com/documents/hr2568.pdf)