People's Weekly World Newspaper, 07/08/09 13:21
Charging the US Chamber of Commerce with supporting only the "interests of Fortune 500 companies," small business owners this week sharply criticized the business group for refusing to endorse the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act, according to a statement released July 8th by the American Small Business League (ASBL).
The act, which has been introduced in the House, would increase oversight of federal contracts designed to go to small business owners. According to the ASBL, billions of dollars worth of federal contracts that are earmarked for small businesses go instead to large corporations, including many named to Fortune's list of the 500 richest companies. The bill, if passed, would remedy the inequity.
More than $100 billion a year in federal contracts, the ASBL charged, flows into the hands of Fortune 500 corporations and other large multinational corporations.
The Chamber of Commerce opposes changing the regulations that allow this situation. In a blog post last month, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director for Small and Mid-market Business Councils Giovanni Coratolo appeared to accuse small business owners who want the rules changed of whining.
"We find it more beneficial for our members to actually work for good policies, not merely rail into the ether on the injustices of the world," Coratolo wrote.
ASBL President Lloyd Chapman slammed the Chamber of Commerce for it stance. "It's a mistake to believe the US Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of small businesses. My goal is to expose the fact that the US Chamber actually supports the interests of the Fortune 500 corporations who are currently abusing federal small business programs," Chapman said.
"It is important to realize that 15 companies currently listed on the US Chamber's board of directors are Fortune 500 corporations that have received billions of dollars in small business contracts every year," Chapman added. "That's the real reason they refuse to back" the bill.
Chapman estimated that 140,000 small business owners who are members of the Chamber of Commerce are adversely affected by the current situation.