Like you, no doubt, we’ve been celebrating the good news this week. Salt is actually good for you! Oh. You thought we meant Osama bin Laden. Well, we’re not going to talk about that, because we’re not happy with President Obama at the moment.
Why? Because we just got this press release from regular correspondent Lloyd Chapman, president of the American Small Business League, and he’s upset with Obama (as he usually is) because Obama isn’t doing anything about the glaring problem of federal “small business” contracts going to large corporations. (A number of federal investigations have shown that billions of dollars a year in federal small-business contracts actually go to Fortune 500 corporations.) And Obama’s failure to address this problem is damaging the economy.
As you’ve no doubt heard before, small businesses create 90 percent of all new jobs. And if the Obama administration truly wants to put more Americans to work, there’s an easy way to do it: send more federal contracts to small businesses. The ASBL says that fixing the diversion of small business contracts to large companies would create almost 2 million jobs. “If the Obama Administration would quit giving federal small-business funds to Fortune 500 firms, it would redirect more infrastructure spending to the middle class and create more jobs than anything they have proposed to date. That would be a real jobs bill.”
Want more revenue? Give better service. Customer service counts – for more than you might think. According to a new survey by American Express, 70 percent of consumers say they’re willing to pay more for better service. That’s up from 60 percent last year. But apparently businesses haven’t gotten the message. The same survey shows two-thirds of consumers think businesses don’t provide good enough service. Result: they walk. Almost 80 percent of Americans say they’ve abandoned a transaction because service was lousy. But before they do, they let the business know about it. More than half say they’ve lost their temper at a customer service rep and almost one out of five have started cursing. (“I said extra salt on my %$&#@ fries!) But that’s nothing compared to Mexico, the world leader in lost tempers. Nine out of 10 Mexicans say they’ve blown their stack at a customer service agent.
Small businesses starving for cash. How bad are small-business money problems? Worse than you thought. A report from ground level in Abilene, Tex., shows that capital flowing to small businesses there has practically dried up. The Texas Tech University Small Business Development Center says that in the six months from October 2008 through March 2009, firms seeking help from the center took in $13.5 million from investors, lenders and the entrepreneurs themselves. But in the six-month period ending last March, that number shrank to a startling $2.4 million.