Presidential Candidates Ignore Small Business Issues

PETALUMA, CA--(Marketwire - January 24, 2008) - The following is a statement by the American Small Business League:

With the South Carolina primary slated for Saturday, it appears that both democratic and republican presidential candidates will continue to ignore small businesses and their vital role in the U.S. economy.

Small business advocates point out that thus far small business issues have been virtually ignored by presidential candidates. This comes after more than 12 federal investigations that have all found that billions of dollars in federal small business contracts have been diverted from legitimate small businesses to some of the largest corporations in the United States and Europe.

With Fortune 500 corporations like Lockheed Martin, Bechtel, Hewlett Packard and BAE Systems receiving federal small business contracts, small businesses around the country and specifically in South Carolina are receiving the short end of the stick when it comes to small business contracts, says President and Founder of the ASBL Lloyd Chapman.

Last year, South Carolina Small Businesses were awarded $1.4 billion in federal small business contracts, a mere 1.08 percent of all federal small business contract dollars awarded nationally.

"Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy and small business owners in South Carolina need to be aware of the fact that these presidential candidates are blatantly ignoring the issues," Chapman said.

The ASBL projects that as much as $100 billion a year in federal small business contracts are diverted to large corporations.

"With the pending economic downturn, making sure that small businesses in South Carolina and across the nation have access to their fair portion of federal small business contracts should be a priority for these presidential candidates," Chapman said, adding small businesses employ about half of all private sector employees and create more than half of non-farm private gross domestic product (GDP).

The South Carolina primary comes on the heels of the Small Business Administration's state of the SBA Address, after which SBA Administrator Steven Preston commented on the presidential race. "I think small business is strangely absent. It is a major concern for me," he said.

The ASBL encourages concerned small business owners, chambers of commerce, and citizens of South Carolina to contact the campaigns of presidential candidates from both the Democratic and Republican parties to express their concerns regarding the diversion of federal small business contracts to large corporations.

For more information and contact information for presidential candidates, please visit

Contact Information: Contact: Christopher Gunn Communications Director American Small Business League (707) 789-9575