PETALUMA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The following is a statement by the American Small Business League:
A new bill that has been introduced in the House of Representatives could bring billions of dollars in new federal contracts to New York State. The bill, titled the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act of 2009, or H.R. 2568, was written to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 firms.
The American Small Business League (ASBL) wrote the original draft of the bill and Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson (D - GA) introduced the bill in the House of Representatives on May 21, 2009.
Since 2003, over a dozen federal investigations have found that billions of dollars in federal small business contracts have actually gone to Fortune 500 firms and thousands of other large businesses. In Report 5-15, the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General (SBA IG) referred to the problem as, "One of the most important challenges facing the Small Business Administration and the entire Federal government today…" (http://www.sba.gov/IG/05-15.pdf)
In February of 2008, President Barack Obama recognized the extent of the abuses when he released the statement, "It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants." (http://www.barackobama.com/2008/02/26/the_american_small_business_le.php)
H.R. 2568 will stop large businesses from taking federal small business contracts by using language from the Small Business Act, which defines a small business as being "independently owned." The bill prevents the federal government from awarding small business contracts to publicly traded firms. Publicly traded firms are publicly owned, and do not qualify as "independently owned."
The ASBL estimates that over $100 billion a year in federal small business contracts go to Fortune 500 firms and other clearly large businesses. New York's 1.9 million small businesses are receiving only a small portion of the federal small business contracts they should be receiving. If President Obama signs the bill into law, small businesses in the State of New York could see their volume of federal contracts increase by several billion dollars a year.
Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D - NY) is chair of the House Committee on Small Business, and is expected to play a key role in getting the bill passed through the House in record time. Congresswoman Velázquez has been an outspoken critic of the diversion of federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 firms. She has appeared on CBS and CNN to voice her strong opposition to the abuses. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tD4LnAfjTow)
American Small Business League
Christopher Gunn, 707-789-9575
Source: American Small Business League