State of the Union and State of Small Businesses

Tonight President Bush will deliver his seventh and likely final State of the Union address to the nation. A front-page story in The Washington Post reports that the nation's leader is expected to focus on the economy and the war in Iraq.

However, the story notes, the president may leave office with a lot of unfinished business: "Bush has long wanted to make permanent the tax cuts approved early in his term, but Democrats appear to have little interest...It is also unclear how much leverage Bush will have to secure free-trade deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea."

His speech is also expected to urge Congress to complete work on an economic stimulus package, which includes tax rebates and incentives for businesses to invest in facilities and equipment.

Among the guests in First Lady Laura Bush's box, tonight will be Jim Barnard, the chief financial officer of Barnard Manufacturing, a 125-employee production machine shop based in St. John's, Mich. The president is expected to acknowledge legislation that he signed into law helping growth at companies such as Barnard's.

In his 2007 State of the Union address, Bush acknowledged Julie Aigner-Clark, the founder of the children's media company, Baby Einstein, which she later sold to The Walt Disney Co. "Julie represents the great enterprising spirit of America...We are pleased to welcome this talented business entrepreneur and generous social entrepreneur," he said.

Small Business Readers - What would you like to see the president address in his State of the Union speech tonight?

By Sharon McLoone |  January 28, 2008; 11:09 AM ET
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We at the American Small Business League (ASBL) would like to see President Bush address the diversion of federal small business contracts to large corporations. We believe that the diversion of small business contracts to Fortune 1000 conglomerates could cost American small business owners as much at $100 billion a year. Additionally, we would like to see President Bush address:

- The implementation of the set-aside program for women owned firms.
- The restoration of the SBA budget, after seven years of cuts.
- The annual re-certification of businesses that work with the federal government, which would remove large firms from Federal Small business contracting.
- Bills H.R. 1873, H.R. 3867, S. 2300 and the pending joint committee that could combine provisions from all three.
- The blatant attempts by the SBA to cover up the diversion of federal small business contracts to large corporations. (e.g. The Top 100 report).

Posted by: American Small Business League | January 28, 2008 4:51 PM

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