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High and Dry?

Why Katrina contracts may be out of entrepreneurs' reach

By Chris Penttila

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In his September address from New Orleans, President Bushstressed the importance of entrepreneurship following the worstnatural disaster to hit the U.S. in a century. "We will takethe side of entrepreneurs as they lead the economic revival of theGulf region," he said.

But entrepreneurs could end up feeling sidestepped as newlegislation dilutes federal contracting rules, and billions ofdollars in emergency no-bid reconstruction contracts are awarded tobig companies like Halliburton. "Small businesses are going tobe pushed out," predicts Scott Amey, general counsel for theProject on Government Oversight, a Washington, DC, governmentwatchdog group.

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