Tracking Obama's promises: one step forward, one back
Now that the election is behind us, we"re catching up on some of the progress being made – or not made – on Obama's campaign promises.
We"ll be publishing dozens of updates to our Obameter items in the coming weeks, but here are two we checked recently involving small business policy. We rated one a Promise Kept and the other a Promise Broken.
Women-owned small businesses
Following a lengthy regulatory process, a women-owned small business contracting rule -- which would implement a program that had been signed into law by President Bill Clinton but never fully carried out -- has cleared its last hurdle and is scheduled to take effect on Feb. 4, 2011. The program is intended to give women-owned businesses a better shot at competing for federal contracts.
On Oct. 7, 2010, the Small Business Administration published in the Federal Register a final rule to establish the program. The eventual goal is to have 5 percent of federal contracting dollars go to women-owned small businesses.
Barring an unexpected development, the new rule is all set and ready to go once its effective date arrives in February. So we rated it a Promise Kept.
Preferences for small businesses owned by people with disabilities
During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama said his administration "would direct the Small Business Administration to amend regulations under the Small Business Act that provide preferences in federal contracting to small businesses owned by members of socially and economically disadvantaged groups to include individuals with disabilities."
But while the administration has expanded a program that benefits disabled veterans, there is no indication today that there has been progress on the broader promise to aid the broader universe of small businesses owned by people with disabilities. So we moved our rating from Stalled to Promise Broken.