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How Small Businesses Can Benefit from the Infrastructure Bill
As small businesses across the country continue to dig out from Covid-19 losses, President Biden’s newly passed infrastructure bill is proving to be a beacon of light at the end of the post-Covid recovery tunnel. The $1.2 trillion bill is expected to be a major boon to small businesses, particularly those in a position to support infrastructure-related projects.
So how can your company make the most of the passed legislation? We take a closer look at the bill’s highlights and benefits, and how your small business can prepare now to capitalize on the coming windfall.
Infrastructure Bill Highlights
The historic bill – known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 – provides for spending on much needed traditional infrastructure improvements, like roads, highways, bridges, airports and waterways. The legislation also proposes funding for modern infrastructure needs, including electric vehicle charging stations, cybersecurity initiatives, and extended broadband networks. Specific budgetary allocations include:
• High-speed Internet – $65 billion
• New and repaired roads, highways and bridges – $110 billion
• Electric vehicle investment – $15 billion
• Modernizing airports – $25 billion
• Water safety – $55 billion
• Upgraded power grid – $73 billion
• Expanded public transit – $39 billion
The infrastructure bill represents the largest expenditure on the aging U.S. public works system since 2009. Representing months of negotiating and a long-overdue desire to repair the country’s aging public works system, the bill was signed into law on November 15, 2021.
Infrastructure Bill Benefits to Small Business
For small businesses, these numbers translate to more jobs across multiple sectors, more work for all types of construction businesses, and tax breaks and incentives for various sustainable business practices. It is estimated that two million jobs will be created per year over the next decade as a direct result of the bill, pulling the country out of a pandemic slump and boosting the nation’s global competitiveness.
In the longer term, new and improved infrastructure benefits small businesses in nearly every industry, acting as a catalyst for productivity. By making logistics faster and more efficient, small businesses in rural and outlying communities become more interconnected with large population hubs. And for small businesses selling products and services online, access to high-speed broadband is imperative to long-term success.
The U.S. supply chain network, which is still heavily disrupted by the pandemic, is also expected to be aided by the infrastructure bill. The legislation provides for major federal investments in each part of the country’s freight network including the nation’s seaside ports. According to the NFIB, over 30% of small businesses reported that supply chain disruptions have had a significant negative impact on their business.
How Small Businesses Can Prepare for the Infrastructure Bill Benefits
Now that the infrastructure bill is signed into law, dollars for large federal projects will be funneled to individual states. At such time, local businesses can bid on these projects, though there is typically a lag between bill passage and a boost in business. Nevertheless, in anticipation of the coming uptick in business activity, many small, infrastructure supporting businesses are doing what they can now to prepare, including the following:
• Making necessary capital expenditure investments to support infrastructure projects – Small businesses need to budget and plan for the upgrade and purchase of equipment, vehicles and other fixed assets to support increased business.
• Hiring skilled workers to take advantage of infrastructure related opportunities – Attracting and recruiting the right employees will be critical as projects ramp up and the labor market gets even tighter.
• Having cash available to support daily operations of a major infrastructure project – Winning a major contract means a small business needs to have the working capital to cover day to day operating expenses and unforeseen costs as well.
QuickBridge understands the issues facing small businesses today, and we offer funding solutions to help those positioned to benefit from the infrastructure bill. Our experienced advisors can help you navigate the right lending option for your unique business.
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