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September 14 White House Press Gaggle

By The White House, The White House - September 14, 2011

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The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Aboard Air Force One En Route Raleigh, North Carolina

10:35 A.M. EDT

MR. CARNEY: Thank you for traveling to North Carolina with us today, ladies and gentlemen. Before I take your questions, I have a quick announcement.

In his remarks today, the President will announce a new memorandum directing agencies to accelerate their payments to small business contractors so they can reinvest that money in the economy and drive job growth. As critical drivers of job creation and economic growth across the country, small businesses must receive, in a timely and efficient manner, the money that the federal government owes them for the goods and services that the government has accepted. The federal government pays small businesses nearly $100 billion each year for goods and services. By taking actions that will enable these payments to be made as promptly as possible, we will improve cash flow for small businesses and provide them with a more predictable stream of resources, thereby preserving and increasing small business participation in federal contracting.

Currently payments must be made within 30 days of receipt of proper documentation by the federal agency. Under this new policy, we are cutting the goal in half, to 15 days. The Jobs Council played a critical role in spurring this initiative through its focus on small business financing. I think to most Americans, that may not sound like a big deal -- 30 days to 15 days. Cutting it in half is actually a huge deal. We’ve heard this a lot from businesses that contract with the federal government. It’s a very important announcement, which will be included in the President’s remarks today.

Q Effective immediately?

Q Yes, how soon will it take effect?

MR. CARNEY: I will have to get back to you on that.

Q What’s the upshot of that? I mean, people --

MR. CARNEY: The upshot is that we are taking every measure we can, legislatively and through the President’s executive authority, to grow the economy and create jobs. There’s no silver bullet; no single measure does it all. The hole that the recession dug in our economy is very deep. But we need to do everything we can.

Q Why didn’t you guys do this before? I mean, you guys had a big small business push last summer. Why is this --

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