Just last week President Obama released a joint statement with Administrator of the Small Business Administration Karen Mills and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke attempting to reaffirm his commitment to small businesses.
If you based your opinions on President Obama's commitment to America's 27 million small businesses strictly on his speeches and press releases you would have to think he was one of the most pro-small business presidents of the last century. You can't deny it, that man really knows how to read a speech off a teleprompter.
However, when you begin to look closely at his actual policies towards small businesses you might start to think its just a matter of time before he starts loading small business owners into over crowded train cars headed for prison camps ringed with barbed wire and guard towers.
When you look at how President Obama has actually allocated the economic stimulus funds you start to get a realistic look at how President Obama actually views American small businesses. Of the more than $2.7 trillion that has been allocated to stimulate our nation's failing economy, the small businesses where most American's work have received less than 0.5 percent of the funds. For those of you that are not that good with decimals, that means 99.5 percent of all federal economic stimulus funds have not gone to America's 27 million small businesses.
Does that make sense to you? 0.5 percent for the small businesses that employ over 50.2 percent of the private sector workforce, create over 97 percent of all net new jobs and produce over 50 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Do you think he'll use boxcars or cattle cars?
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama said he would restore the SBA Administrator to a cabinet level position, implement the 5 percent woman-owned small business contracting goal and restore the SBA budget. Not one of those promises has been honored. The current SBA budget is even less than it was when Ronald Reagan left office.
President Obama's ARC loan program was yet another sham. Interest free $35,000 loans to small businesses. Sounds great until you find out that it was caped at $255 million. That is less than 1/100th of one percent (0.01 percent) of the stimulus funds. Even then, it is so difficult to land one of the loans, the New York Times reported that the small business community as a whole has seen little benefit from the program. Banks have virtually no incentive to participate in the program.
Since 2003, over a dozen federal investigations have found that billions of dollars in federal small business contracts have actually wound up in the hands of some of the largest companies in the world. The SBA Inspector General referred to the abuses as, "One of the most important challenges facing the Small Business Administration and the entire federal government today." President Obama promised small business owners that wouldn't happen on his watch. In February of 2008, he released the statement, "It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants."
To date, President Obama has refused to adopt any policy or legislation to honor that promise and stop corporate giants from hijacking billions of dollars in federal small business contracts every month.
This can be seen in the latest small business contracting data released by the Obama administration on Friday, August 21.
Of the ten largest recipients of federal small business contracts 85 percent of the money went to large businesses. Eight of the top ten recipients were also large businesses.
According to the Federal Procurement Data System -- Next Generation (FPDS-NG), here is just a partial list of some of the firms President Barack "change we can believe in" Obama is giving federal small business contracts to every day. Ready?
Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, GTSI, L-3 Communications, Northrop Grumman, Booz Allen Hamilton, General Dynamics, 3M Company, Hewlett-Packard, AT&T, Dell Computer, Staples, Office Depot, Xerox and General Electric.
President Obama is even allowing billions of dollars in U.S. government small business contracts to go to some of the biggest companies in Europe and Asia. FPDS-NG data shows that the Obama Administration is giving government small business contracts to firms like, British Aerospace (BAE), Rolls-Royce and French giant Thales. How about over $283 million to Finmeccanica SpA in Italy with 73,000 employees, and $254 million to Ssangyong Corporation which is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea.
It's just a mater of time until Obama signs legislation or adopts polices that will divert even more federal small business contracts to the ultra rich members of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), which contributed bazillions to his campaign. Why do you think he appointed multi-millionaire venture capitalist, and Tootsie Roll heiress Karen Mills to head the SBA?
While President Obama's top campaign contributors Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are reporting record profits during a recession, America's 27 million small businesses have been left high and dry.
Small business owners should reflect on two quotes from Thomas Jefferson, "We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate," and "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscious to remain silent."
Small businesses need to start making some noise, participate, organize and fight for their survival because they are certainly not going to get any help from Obama, Congress or the SBA. LChapman@ASBL.com.
Please click here to watch our response to the Obama administration's small business contracting statistics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sX2QEY5Wxlo
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