Huffpost Business
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Chris Gunn Headshot

U.S. Hispanic Chamber Challenged on Its Small Business Credentials by ASBL

Posted: Updated:

The American Small Business League (ASBL) released the following press release this morning. In it, the ASBL challenges the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to, "put-up or shut-up," and to, "produce any press releases, media appearances, legislation or lawsuits filed by the chamber that would indicate the chamber has ever supported or worked towards the removal of large firms from federal small business contracting programs."

The ASBL has estimated that every year up to $100 billion in federal contracts intended for small businesses are awarded to Fortune 500 corporations and other clearly large firms around the world. Now, with the introduction of H.R. 2568, the small business community has an opportunity to stop these abuses and redirect these government funds to America's middle class.

Small businesses are the backbone of our nation's economy. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 90 percent of all American firms have less than 20 employees and those firms are responsible for up to 97 percent of net new jobs.

It is not reasonable that the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce would refuse to back legislation that would redirect billions of dollars in federal infrastructure spending to our nation's chief job creators, its small businesses.

______

Petaluma, Calif. - After being criticized by the American Small business League (ASBL) for refusing to support legislation to stop widespread fraud and abuse in federal small business contracting programs, on July 1, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) issued an abrasive and grossly misleading press release attempting to reaffirm its commitment to "comprehensive and substantive federal contracting reform."

The USHCC's commitment to contracting reform was called into question by the ASBL after the chamber refused to offer its support to H.R. 2568, the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act of 2009. H.R. 2568 is the only legislation written to stop the flow of billions of dollars in federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 corporations and foreign-owned firms.

Since 2003, more than a dozen federal investigations have reported that every year billions of dollars in government small business contracts are awarded to Fortune 500 corporations and thousands of other clearly large firms around the world. The ASBL estimates that the diversion of federal small business contracts to large corporations could exceed $100 billion a year.

In its press release the USHCC and its Chairman David C. Lizárraga touted Chairwoman of the House Committee on Small Business Nydia Velázquez as the "principle champion" of reform on small business contracting issues. The USHCC has never supported any policies, or pushed for the removal of corporate giants from federal small business contracting programs, and Chairwoman Velázquez has never proposed legislation or policy that would end the abuses. Since 2002, ASBL President Lloyd Chapman and the ASBL have been the primary advocates of federal small business contracting reform.

The ASBL challenges the USHCC to put-up or shut-up. Chapman challenges the USHCC to produce any press releases, media appearances, legislation or lawsuits filed by the chamber that would indicate the chamber has ever supported or worked towards the removal of large firms from federal small business contracting programs.

"The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has shown no commitment to removing corporate giants from small business contracting programs. To see that, all you have to do is look at their track record on this issue," ASBL President Lloyd Chapman said. "I seriously doubt that they will be able to produce any evidence of any kind to prove that they have done anything to stem the flow of federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 corporations."