Stimulus ignores country's small businesses

DOWNEY - According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, firms with fewer than 20 employees account for over 90 percent of all U.S. businesses and are responsible for more than 97 percent of all new jobs in America. and reported on the findings.The stimulus bill completely ignores this fact. There is no need for Congress to reinvent the wheel. America already has a stimulus bill based on the realization that small businesses drive our nation's economy and create 97 percent of new jobs. That stimulus plan is called the Small Business Act. Current federal law stipulates that a minimum of 23 percent of the total value of all federal contracts and subcontracts shall be awarded to America's small businesses. Unfortunately, since 2003 more than 15 federal investigations have been released which uncovered hundreds of billions of dollars in federal small business contracts actually went to Fortune 500 firms. ( Every major newspaper has covered the story along with ABC, CBS and CNN. In 2005, the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released Report 5-15, which described the diversion of federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 firms as, "One of the most important challenges facing the Small Business Administration and the entire Federal government today." In February of 2008, President Obama responded to the problem with the statement, "Small businesses are the backbone of our nation's economy and we must protect this great resource. It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants." To date, neither President Obama, nor any member of Congress have proposed even a single policy to address the diversion of up to $100 billion a year in federal small business contracts to "corporate giants." If President Obama and Congress are sincerely interested in creating jobs and stimulating our nation's failing economy, the existing economic stimulus plan designed to direct federal infrastructure spending to the firms that create over 97 percent of new jobs must be addressed. The Small Business Act defines a small business as "independently owned." Publicly traded firms do not qualify as small business, and are obviously not "independently owned." One sentence in the stimulus bill could completely halt the diversion of federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 firms and create millions of jobs across the country: "The federal government and prime contractors shall not report awards to publicly traded firms as small business awards." ********** Published: February 13, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 43