Monday, March 1, 2010

The Stimulus Plan for Infrastructure Spending

The Stimulus Plan for Infrastructure Spending


This is a great article that tells about the Stimulus Bill and how the funds are FINALLY going to be spent in 2010. This article was written by Kent Hoover, of the Memphis Business Journal.

About 23,500 infrastructure projects funded by the economic stimulus bill will begin this year, according to a study by Onvia, Inc., a Seattle company that tracks stimulus spending.
These jobs will put $76 billion in the hands of contractors and create 480,000 construction jobs, according to Onvia.

“Despite all of the talk about the stimulus working, our research shows most of the funds have not left Washington, although they will in 2010,” Onvia CEO Mike Pickett said.

“We also expect competition for these contracts to be fierce as more businesses seek to capitalize on the irresistibly large market created by government spending,” he said. “It will remain a buyer’s market as more companies follow the money and competition keeps a lid on costs.”
Last year, most infrastructure projects came in below estimated costs, Onvia found, which enabled government officials to expand the scope of some stimulus-funded projects.
Small businesses see little benefit from stimulus bill.

The $787 billion economic stimulus bill may have created or saved 2 million jobs, but most small business owners haven’t seen much of an impact from the legislation.

A February survey of small business owners by Discover Financial Services found that 70% said the stimulus bill had no impact on their businesses.

Only 10% said it helped, and 17% contend it hurt their businesses.

A separate survey conducted for CIT Group Inc. in December and January found that 90% of small business owners said they haven’t benefited from the economic stimulus bill.

The Discover survey, which focused on businesses with five or fewer employees, found lots of skepticism about the federal government’s ability to help them.

More than 75% said they were “not very confident” or “not at all confident” that the federal government and Congress could address the needs of small business owners, up from 62% a year ago.

Nearly 70% said it’s unlikely they would hire a new employee if Congress passed a proposed tax credit for businesses that increase the size of their work force.

The stimulus bill helped revive Small Business Administration lending by increasing the government guarantee on these loans and reducing or eliminating fees.

But 91% of the small business owners surveyed by Discover said they had never applied for an SBA loan, and 61% said it’s unlikely they would do so in the future, even if they were easier to get.

The CIT survey focused on larger small businesses, companies with annual revenues of $1 million or more. Nearly 60% of these business owners said small businesses would benefit from a proposed increase in the size limit for SBA loans.

Kent Hoover is Washington bureau chief for American City Business Journals. He can be reached at (703) 816-0330 or khoover@bizjournals.com For a link to the article, click here.

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