Last week, President Biden unveiled his proposed American Jobs Plan, a nearly $2 trillion investment in the country’s infrastructure, including transportation, utilities, communities, manufacturing and energy. This plan would provide a wealth of government contract opportunities for small businesses.
The US currently ranks 13th in the world in overall infrastructure. The goal of this Plan is to improve existing systems across the country, create new, well-paying jobs and invest in research and development. This investment could fund new technologies to address critical issues such as climate change, global energy crisis and the potential for future pandemics.
“This isn’t just about repairing what’s wrong now right away, but also managing for the next 30 to 50 years,” said Christophe Petit, co-founder and president with Star America Infrastructure Partners. “We need more sustainable and innovative infrastructure,” he added. “This goes way beyond fixing roads and bridges,”
More specifically, the plan will make investments in, among other areas, transportation and communities (homes, school and buildings):
- $174 billion in electric vehicle investments
- $115 billion for bridges and roads
- $20 billion to improve road safety
- $85 billion for existing public transit
- $80 billion for railways
- $50 billion to improve infrastructure resilience
- $25 billion for airports
- $17 billion for waterways and ports of entry
- $20 billion to reconnect urban neighborhoods cut off by highways
- $213 billion for affordable housing
- $100 billion for school construction
- $12 billion for community colleges
- $25 billion for childcare facilities
- $18 billion for VA hospitals
- $10 billion for federal buildings
The Plan’s $621 billion investment in transportation infrastructure and resilience is intended to:
- Fix highways, rebuild bridges, upgrade ports, airports and transit systems.
- Deliver clean drinking water, a renewed electric grid, and high-speed broadband to all Americans.
- Build, preserve, and retrofit more than two million homes and commercial buildings, modernize our nation’s schools and childcare facilities, and upgrade veterans’ hospitals and federal buildings.
- Solidify the infrastructure of our care economy by creating jobs and raising wages and benefits for essential home care workers.
- Revitalize manufacturing, secure U.S. supply chains, invest in R&D, and train Americans for the jobs of the future.
- Create good-quality jobs that pay prevailing wages in safe and healthy workplaces while ensuring workers have a free and fair choice to organize, join a union, and bargain collectively with their employers.
What does this mean for small businesses?
This broad and historic spending on infrastructure opens the door for a wide range of new opportunities for small businesses to benefit from these investments. Many government contracts are mandated to provide “set-asides” that require a percentage of the contracts to be award to small minority-owned and women-owned businesses.
Being recognized as a minority-owned or women-owned business has never been more important. As a small business owner, you can get in on these set-asides by certifying your business through one of the many certification options available:
SBA 8(a) – To help provide a level playing field for small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities, the government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the 8(a) Business Development program. The program is limited to small businesses that are owned and controlled by U.S. citizens who are socially and economically disadvantaged.
MBE – A Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certification defines your business as being owned, operated and controlled by a minority group. Certification is a valuable marketing tool for your small business and can give you special consideration when bidding on contracts with local government.
WBE – A Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) certification defines your business as being owned, operated, and controlled by a women. Certification is a valuable marketing tool for your small business and can give you special consideration when bidding on contracts with the local government.
DBE – The USDOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program aims to increase the participation of minority and women owned businesses in state and local transportation projects. This includes projects that are funded by the Department through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
How can my company benefit from this plan?
Positioning your company to compete for these contracts requires obtaining the right business certifications. BizCentral USA offers support with these applications to help your company streamline the process and get certified quickly. BizCentral USA will review your business goals to make sure to get you into the best certifications for your needs and increase your chances to win the most lucrative government contracts.
BizCentral USA offers free review of what opportunities may be available for your small minority-owned or women-owned business. Schedule a free consultation with one of our Executive Consultants so you can learn about how you can be a part of this historic investment plan.