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The Scuttling of the U.S.S. Small Business Act: If It Ain't Broke...Ahh, Never Mind. (Part One of Nine)

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Sunday, October 09, 2011
Updated: Monday, October 10, 2011
Wait for it...

Did you hear that? That was the sound of seawater flooding another compartment of the great vessel responsible for job creation, ongoing innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit long since forgotten by many companies not on this ship's passenger list.

The cause is not an accident. Critical hatchway's are being opened by opponents and opportunists who through political and corporate posturing (and nefarious activities), are working hard to sink the collection of government programs providing assistance to legions of small and microbusinesses often referred to as the 'backbone' of the U.S. economy by pundits and practitioners.

Beyond the typical opposition to anything creating benefit for the underdog, there is an ever-increasing chorus of activity calling for the demise of set-aside programs related to government contracting. This includes a combination of:

  • detractors who believe all contractors are unnecessary;
  • those who prefer the perceived safety and security of working with an organization with the cash reserves to buy small countries, and;
  • inaction of those elected to positions to effect meaningful change.

All of this contributes to the methodical chipping away of the foundation of these programs.

Not sure what I'm talking about?

Ideas continue to sprout up from all sectors on ways the small business programs should be implemented. No one, it seems, is taking a serious look at fixing what is already in place. Case in point is the latest contribution from The Honorable Claire McCaskill to throw out the existing classification and size standards system and replace it with one that makes it easier for small businesses to participate in government contracting. In the process, let's turn the entire contracting community on it's head and nothing will get done for the next ten years as small, medium and large companies and the entire U.S. Government adapt to this new system.

As a retired Naval officer and current small business owner recently cited on my blog, "The timing for this initiative doesn't exactly convey the Senator has a grasp of the big picture considering the U.S. Government and economy is facing the potential of a ship wreck level event. When your ship's heading toward the rocks in gale force winds with one engine out is a bad time to decide to renumber all of the ships compartments just because...."

Anybody out there listening?


The Chief Visionary

"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."

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