The federal government is now promoting several initiatives designed to kick start small businesses out of the recession. In late April the White House initiated two task forces designed to help award more government work to small business. The first task force is intended to help all small businesses win contracts, and the second specifically targets businesses owned by veterans of the armed forces. Working through the Small Business Administration and the Commerce Department, the government hopes to remove barriers keeping small business out of government work, and to triple the number of contracts going to vets.
Earlier in April, the Small Business Administration set up eight new Veterans Business Outreach Centers, bringing the total number of centers across the country to 15. And the White House recently launched a National Export Initiative to help small businesses reach new markets overseas. The program is expected to create two million jobs as it boosts exports. In addition, Congress passed legislation extending American Recovery and Reinvestment Act lending to small businesses. The original funds allocated for the program ran out last November, but Congress has continued to authorize more funding to extend the program.