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Friday, October 16, 2009

Corporate Giants Land Obama Small Business Funds Under ARRA

By Lloyd Chapman
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. ( ) 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. (

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. (

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. (

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. (,


Monday, October 12, 2009

Miami Herald: In Florida, 'small businesses' aren't all small

Small businesses are supposed to get a substantial percent of government contracts. But not all contract holders are really that small.

jwyss (at)

What do Dell Computer, General Electric and Boeing have in common? These massive corporations were all counted as ``small businesses'' doing work in Florida last year.

The three firms -- along with a dozen other billion-dollar companies -- soaked up at least $76 million in federal contracts that were recorded as going to small businesses during fiscal year 2008, according to government data.

The issue of how federal dollars are spent is critical in Florida, where 90 percent of all businesses have fewer than 20 employees and government contracts represent a valuable lifeline amid a tanking economy.

While the federal government is obliged to put 23 percent of all direct, or prime, contracts in the hands of small firms, it has missed that mark for the past three years.

``Call me crazy, but I just don't think Fortune 500 companies should be counted as small-business contracts,'' said Lloyd Chapman, president of the American Small Business League. ``I just can't believe this is still going on.''

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