Archive: Watchdogs

Veterans Group to Aid Small Firms Grossly Mismanaged

A nonprofit veterans group has "squandered" hundreds of thousands of dollars of the $17 million in federal funds it has received since 2001 and essentially abandoned its mission of helping veterans start small businesses, according to the results of a Senate investigation (pdf) released Thursday and reported in The Washington...

By Sharon McLoone | December 12, 2008; 11:40 AM ET | Comments (2)

Report: SBA Should Better Educate 8(a) Applicants

The Small Business Administration could do a better job of educating applicants about its popular 8(a) loan program, but its effectiveness has been hampered by agency downsizing and budget reductions, according to a new government report (pdf). The SBA's 8(a) program is designed to help small firms gain access to...

By Sharon McLoone | November 24, 2008; 09:20 AM ET | Comments (1)

Q&A With Top Lawyer at SBA Office of Advocacy

Tom Sullivan is packing up his office. The chief counsel to the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy has decided to move on after six-plus years on the job. On Thursday, his office hosted a packed reception for him at SBA headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he was toasted and...

By Sharon McLoone | October 27, 2008; 10:11 AM ET | Comments (0)

SBA Finds Small Firms Win More Contracts, but Problems Linger

Small businesses won a record $83.2 billion in federal prime contracts in fiscal 2007, but only three of 24 agencies met all of their small business goals as ranked by the Small Business Administration's second annual contracting scorecard, the agency's chief announced today. The federal government database shows that federal...

By Sharon McLoone | October 22, 2008; 01:30 PM ET | Comments (1)

Agencies Made $5B in Small Business Contracting Mistakes

U.S. government agencies made at least $5 billion in mistakes in their recent reports of contracts awarded to small businesses, with many claiming credit for awards to companies that long ago outgrew the designation or never qualified in the first place, according to a new Washington Post analysis. Staff Writer...

By Sharon McLoone | October 22, 2008; 10:31 AM ET | Comments (1)

SBA and Agriculture Need Better Collaboration

The heads of the Small Business Administration and the Department of Agriculture should formalize a better process for collaboration on programs fostering economic development in rural areas by promoting entrepreneurship and community development, advises a new report. The governmental watchdog group the General Accountability Office analyzed (pdf) how some SBA...

By Sharon McLoone | September 29, 2008; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Diversity Lags in Virginia Small Business Program

Virginia has succeeded in reaching a benchmark of buying 40 percent of its products and services from minority- and women-owned businesses, but a Washington Post review of the commonwealth's Small, Women- and Minority-owned Business (SWaM) program has shown that a majority of the companies participating in the program are small...

By Sharon McLoone | August 19, 2008; 02:28 PM ET | Comments (1)

Firms Redirected Contracts Awarded Through SBA Set-Aside Program

Two government contractors designated as small, Alaska-native-owned firms used a Small Business Administration loan program to direct millions of dollars in fees to other companies owned by managers who were not Alaska natives and should not have received the payments. The findings are part of an ongoing review by the...

By Sharon McLoone | August 14, 2008; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (3)

Are Interchange Fees Eating Into Your Bottom Line?

Small businesses have long expressed concern that credit-card companies are pushing the cost of card incentives and reward programs onto businesses and consumers through interchange fees, which are used to reimburse credit card firms for processing card transactions. A group of senators on the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee asked...

By Sharon McLoone | July 31, 2008; 10:48 AM ET | Comments (2)

GAO: Export-Import Bank Needs Better Outreach to Small Firms

Savvy small businesses are increasingly looking to export their goods or services as a way to bump up their bottom lines in this weak U.S. economy. But the Export-Import Bank, which provides loans and insurance to support U.S. exports, needs to do a better job in helping small firms, according...

By Sharon McLoone | July 21, 2008; 10:26 AM ET | Comments (0)

Report: SBA Mismanages Billion Dollar HUBZone Program

The Small Business Administration relies on an outdated, inaccurate map to maintain its billion dollar HUBZone program that is rife with fraud, according to a government report (pdf) to be released Thursday at a House Small Business hearing. The House panel is holding the morning hearing to unveil the results...

By Sharon McLoone | July 17, 2008; 07:11 AM ET | Comments (2)

 

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