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The Treasury Dept. held a forum on Thursday to address how the economy has affected small business. Specifically, the forum addressed how to help small businesses weather the bad economy. ABC News reports that an Obama administration focused on how to increase small business access to financing.
In fact, the press release about the forum from the Treasury Dept. details what Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wanted to convey, stating: "Small businesses, in particular, are still facing a very challenging credit environment." This is very true with small business lenders like CIT Group and Advanta filing for bankruptcy in recent news. Geithner wanted to give small business owners some hope about how to get financing.
However, there are special interest groups like The American Small Business League who are skeptical. In their own press release they warned that one of the key issues plaguing small businesseswas not on the agenda: "While many subjects will be covered, the American Small Business League (ASBL) predicts the one subject not discussed will be the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants." This seems to be something that is thwarting small businesses from getting some financial help from the government.
In fact, President Obama himself is quoted by the American Small Business League as saying: "It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants."
Geithner did not specifically address this issue in his press release: "First, we need to provide direct help to small businesses...And we've done that by implementing higher guarantees and lower fees for Small Business Administration loans, greatly increasing SBA lending, which Karen will talk more about in a moment." While Geithner does address the issue of SBA lending, he did not directly address the concern brought up by the American Small Business League of corporate diversion of grants and funds earmarked for small businesses going to big business.
According the ABC News, this forum was a chance for President Obama to do some outreach on job creation prior to the White House's Forum on job growth and economic improvements on December 3. Hopefully that outreach will hone in on what is really important to small business owners.
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