Very few people really understand the complexities of government contracting, so perhaps it’s no surprise that President Obama dodged a very specific question Thursday morning about the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program.
As The Eye has reported before, the program is designed to ensure that minority-owned small businesses — especially Native American-owned shops — secure government contracting work.
Leslie Lohse, with California’s Paskenta Nomlaki, asked Obama about the program at the end of his remarks at Thursday’s Tribal Nations conference:
…I’d like to ask you to do is to take care of our 8(a) program because those of us — those that are landless out there can develop economic development opportunities through the 8(a) contracting program, and that may ease some of the burdens that some of the landless tribes are, because you don’t need to have land to operate that.
Obama responded by urging Lohse and others “to interact directly with the department heads, the secretaries who are in charge of implementation on a whole range of these issues.”