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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Obama's First Year Short Changes Small Businesses

November 5, 2009

Petaluma, Calif. - A year after being elected, President Barack Obama's small business policies don't seem to match his campaign promises to America's 27 million small businesses.

President Obama earned the support of small business groups during his campaign by making several key promises. President Obama promised to:

- Restore the Small Business Administration's (SBA) budget and staffing. To date, the SBA's budget is less than what it was at the end of the Clinton Administration. During the Bush Administration the SBA's budget and staffing was cut by more than half. Despite promising to bolster the agency, the Obama Administration has failed to refill key positions, or restore the agency's budget. Today, the SBA's staff is at a 30 year low.

- Restore the SBA Administrator to a cabinet level position. Despite encouragement from both Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress, President Obama has refused to restore the SBA's Administrator to cabinet level status.

- Implement the congressionally mandated 5-percent set-aside goal for women owned firms. To date, the Obama Administration has failed to honor that promise.

- "End the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants." Since 2003, more than 15 federal investigations have found that billions in federal small business contracts have been diverted to Fortune 500 firms in the U.S. and some of the biggest firms in Europe and Asia. In February of 2008, President Obama acknowledged the magnitude of the problem by releasing the statement, "It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants."

In the most recent data released by the Obama Administration, Textron, a Fortune 500 firm with more than 43,000 employees was the top recipient of federal small business contracts. Other firms such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, British Aerospace (BAE), Rolls-Royce, French giant Thales Communications, Ssangyong Corporation headquartered in Seoul, South Korea and Finmeccanica SpA which is located in Italy with 73,000 employees, were included in the Obama Administration's small business contracting data.

To date the Obama Administration has failed to take any action to honor that promise.

"American small businesses need more than speeches from President Obama. Every day he's been in office, government small business contracts have been diverted to Fortune 500 firms. He's given small businesses less than one percent of the stimulus funds. That's the real Obama plan for small business," ASBL President Lloyd Chapman said.


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

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