Will Obama Do Away with SBA?
By Kent Bernhard, Jr.
October 9, 9600
A small business advocacy group that has complained loudly that the government short-changes small businesses when it comes to contracting now has even bigger worries.
Lloyd Chapman, head of The American Small Business League, says he's worried President Barack Obama plans to follow through on a Bush-era plan to fold the Small Business Administration into the Commerce Department.
Chapman cites what he calls are a string of broken promises regarding the SBA -- that the director would be a cabinet-level post, that a 5 percent set-aside program for women-owned firms would be implemented, and that funds would no longer be diverted from small businesses to giant firms.
"I don't trust President Obama. He has lied to me, and he has lied to every small business in America by breaking every promise he has made to the small business community," Chapman said. "I am very concerned that he may try to dismantle all small business programs by combining the SBA with the Commerce Department."
In August, Chapman's group argued with the government's reckoning of small-business contracts. The government claimed $93.3 billion worth of contracts went to small businesses in 2008, up $10 billion from 2007. That still fell short of a Congressional mandate that 23 percent of contracts go to small businesses. Only 21 percent went to those businesses, according to the government's estimate.
But Chapman's group said the number's more like 7 percent of government contracts going to small businesses. The ASBL claims the government excludes vast contracts as not being small business eligible, and that it counts such giants as Lockheed-Martin and Boeing among small businesses.