Is the SBA rigged against moms and pops in a crisis?

One thing is certain, never let a crisis go to waste has found its way into COVID19 and the same ones who always win — are winning again. And the reason they are winning is because they know how to play the game — how to rig the system — and how to cheat those they were hired to serve.

Those I speak of work at the SBA and in many large banks across the country. Here are a few facts that need to be investigated for the good of all small business owners across this country.

  • The SBA was set up to support SMALL Businesses – not large ones. The first batch of COVID stimulus payments went to BIG companies through Big banks who made billions from their fees. We saw this in 2008 when Bush bailed out the banks and the small business owners were left in the dust. Each small business person tried to carry on the best they could and some survived — without the help of the government and many closed up shop — because of the help from the government.
  • Some small business owners did receive their stimulus and that is because they knew someone who could help them at their bank. They were a little more sophisticated with their banking and actually knew someone to call. But reality is this — most small business owners deal with the tellers at the bank and not a “banker.” So when it was time to apply, they didn’t have a contact person or know how to apply. As they attempted to maneuver the SBA website, the big guys took all the money and they were left checking their bank accounts to see if the promised money was deposited. Lesson learned for those small mom and pops: Get to know a banker at your bank. Next time around you may have a friend there who can help you.
  • The sad part of what happened this time around is we trusted and believed in this new administration. We knew they would protect us – the “real” SMALL Business owners. But you can’t change the rigged game unless you change those who work there and have been there for many, many years aka the “Careers.” No matter which President is in office, they keep their jobs and carry on. They are a part of what Trump calls, The Deep State or the Swamp. They are rooted into their way of doing business and can rig the system. They laugh at each new President who thinks they will change them. It’s too tough because they are too big and no one pays attention to what they do or audits their work. Political appointees in the deep state departments are considered a joke to the Careers.
  • As a reminder, last year the Careers were given a two month VACATION — paid leave – while the government was shut down. They were paid to do nothing. They traveled, went to visit family and friends, planted gardens, read books, went to movies, and all those other things you do when you are on PAID leave.
  • And then yesterday … these same salaried Careers demanded as an organized group, that they receive OVERTIME pay for working long hours for the COVID response. And quietly without the full knowledge of the Administration, their demands were met. Congress did not have to approve it. Salaried Careers making upwards of $176,000+ will receive overtime pay while continuing to do a poor job, handing out money to those who don’t need it and managing an online system that was hacked and our personal information was compromised. In the private sector, these people would be fired. You can’t do that with Federal employees. They are rooted in for good.
  • And this will “get your goat.” Recently it was discovered a Career executive at one of the SBA’s regional offices had not been to work for nearly two years. He just didn’t show up yet was paid. Instead of being arrested for fraud, he retired and took his retirement package with him. How could that happen? It happened because Careers within the system look out for each other and no one wants to squeal in case they need a favor themselves.
  • You can take my word for this post or you can also take the word of an SBA CRS Agent in Miami who was taped having a conversation with a small business owner who applied for the COVID stimulus. (We verified the validity of this audio recording with someone inside the SBA. That someone said the agent knew too much and the inner workings of the SBA for it not to be true.) The caller was getting the run around and desperately needed the promised money she had heard about from the media and the administration. He proceeds to lose it himself at how the big shots in SBA and Congress have handled this and tells her she probably will not receive any help. Listen to her crying and the hopelessness you hear in her voice. This should not happen in America. It’s wrong. It’s corrupt. It’s rigged. It’s sad.

What is the answer to this corruption and ineptness within our government? How can this be fixed? Can it be fixed? It needs to be because the salt of the earth people — the caller on this audio — the moms and pops — the risk takers — the go getters — deserve to be treated with respect and dignity by those who are civil servants…not the other way around.

It was never designed to be like this and it’s way past time to dismantle it and start all over again. Maybe that’s the answer – dismantle. They have done it to us so why not do it to them?

Billie Tucker Volpe Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Leadership Consultant to CEOs/Executives

Billie Tucker Volpe

Billie Tucker Volpe Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Leadership Consultant to CEOs/Executives.


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