The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, better known as the stimulus package, was signed into law by President Obama in February. It amounts to $787 billion in government spending, incentives and tax cuts designed to kick-start the economy and create or save 3 to 4 million jobs over the next two years.
There has been much debate about the merits of the stimulus package, especially as it relates to small business. The OPEN Forum blog, for example, has 10 posts covering the stimulus package.
But regardless of how you feel about the stimulus package, spending billions of dollars on infrastructure, clean energy, health, education and other areas creates small business opportunities.
For example, there are over 2,600 road projects funded by the stimulus package underway across the U.S. And according to ProPublica (a great source for stimulus package information), 76% involve paving or repairing existing roads. The vast majority of this work is being done by small and mid-sized construction companies.
The Department of Transportation also recently announced $742 million in light rail projects. While larger firms will win most of this business, small companies will benefit by supplying or sub-contracting to the contract winners.
Based on an industry by industry employment analysis, we estimate that the stimulus package will create or save 1.6 million small business jobs.
Our analysis is part of the eBook The Stimulus Package: What it Means for Growing Businesses. This eBook was produced by MyVenturepad in cooperation with SAP. It is designed to help small businesses take advantage of the opportunities created by the stimulus package.
The eBook also contains an analysis of the tax implications of the stimulus package by small business and tax expert Barbara Weltman. Entreworks Consulting founder Erik Pages, a specialist on the Small Business Administration, provides an assessment of what the package means to the SBA.
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About the Author: Steve King is a partner at Emergent Research, a research affiliate at the Institute for the Future, and senior fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. He is a co-author of the Intuit Future of Small Business report series, and he blogs at Small Biz Labs.