Billions in federal small business contracts awarded to the nation's largest firms, says American Small Business League

PETALUMA, Calif., 26 Oct. 2006. The American Small Business League (ASBL) and its president Lloyd Chapman, in concert with the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce and other small business groups, estimates that up to $100 billion in federal small business contracts were siphoned to some of the nation's largest firms, many of which are defense contractors.

Oct 26th, 2006

PETALUMA, Calif., 26 Oct. 2006. The American Small Business League (ASBL) and its president Lloyd Chapman, in concert with the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce and other small business groups, estimates that up to $100 billion in federal small business contracts were siphoned to some of the nation's largest firms, many of which are defense contractors.

According to reports by the ASBL and media outlets ABC and CBS, in 2005 alone, roughly $12 billion in federal contracts allotted for small businesses was awarded to large corporations. Additionally, 2,500 of the nation's largest firms are on the list of federal small business contractors. The list is said to include Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, GE, Google, Microsoft, Wal-Mart, and Rolls Royce.

Small Business Administration (SBA) executives blame mislabeling and clerical errors. "We don't believe we've seen any intentional wrongdoings on the part of firms to certify themselves as small when they are large," Calvin Jenkins of the SBA says.

Representatives from many of these large corporations claim to have gained these contracts through their small-business partners, even by way of acquiring the small business that won a contract.

Chapman submitted a request to Small Business Administration (SBA) administrator Steven Preston to release a complete list of firms that received federal small business contracts during fiscal year 2005. Preston has refused to provide the information.

"I don't believe that anyone will be able to produce a list to justify the claim that the SBA awarded $79.6 billion in contracts to small businesses in 2005," says Chapman. "But the government insists that this information is readily accessible. I'm willing to pay $10,000 cash to see if someone is able to produce it."

To claim the reward, the list of federal small business contractors must total $79.6 billion as announced by the SBA in June of this year (www.sba.gov/news/06-45.pdf). In addition, the list must contain the names of the firms and the amounts they were awarded, consolidated by parent company name. Lists must be submitted to lchapman@asbl.com by midnight on December 1, 2006.

Congress is considering legislation with hefty penalties for firms who misrepresent their size.

The American Small Business League has won a series of lawsuits against the government to force the disclosure of information that reveals billions of dollars in contracts that Congress intended to go to small business were awarded to large corporations.

The Small Business Act of 1953 mandates that 23 percent of the total volume of government contracts go to small businesses.

The American Small Business League was formed to promote policies that provide the greatest opportunity for small businesses. The ASBL is founded on the principle that small businesses, the backbone of a vital American economy, should receive the fair treatment promised by the Small Business Act of 1953. Representing small businesses in all fields and industries throughout the United States, the ASBL monitors existing policies and proposed policy changes by the Small Business Administration and other federal agencies that affect its members. More information is offered online at http://www.asbl.com.

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