President Bidens Infrastructure Deal, Will Small Businesses Profit?

Published: August 9, 2021

Biden reaches bipartisan infrastructure …

President Biden has gotten his bipartisan infrastructure deal passed, but at what cost to small businesses? It is assumed that small businesses benefit when consumers can get from point A-B without any significant issues in traveling due to roads in disrepair. After all, businesses are the winners with those sizable contracts awarded to them to complete the construction contracts, but who are the losers in these construction contract deals?

With a $550 billion price tag over 5-years, the inclusion of existing funds authorized is just under $1 trillion for this same 5-year period and above $1.2 trillion over 8-years. However, here is the part that, as a small business, will get you a little ticked-off at the actual price tag. Thus, the repurposing of $205 billion, which was to be used for Covid-19 relief aid, along with another $38 billion, would be redirected from small business relief programs, another $17.6 billion from the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan package, $13.5 billion from the Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. And these are only some of the funds that are diverted into this construction program.

Hence these programs are currently used to offset the financial hardship that small businesses have suffered during the pandemic that forced various small businesses to shut down. Without the availability of these funds, more companies will be forced to make some hard decisions of continuing business operations or shutting down.

The Effect on Small Businesses, Unions, and Non-Unions

Lawrence Mishel did an article a few years ago (2013) about the racial under-representation in the construction industry. In the article, he went on to show research that non-whites were under-represented in the construction industry, which had a paralyzing effect on the economic well-being of this group. No one is looking for a hand-out, just the opportunity to make a fair wage and take care of one’s family.

Yes, there has been progress in this labor sector, but to what extent will minorities share in the jobs and wealth of the Biden Infrastructure program? There needs to be some follow-up research to see what comes of this construction program and who the hired are, and will there be an accurate representation of the population employed to depict the people in its totality?

Biden Infrastructure Program Has Big Business Support

 Mikaela Cohen, in his article dated August 6, 2021, in The Path Forward, articulated essential points on why big businesses support the Biden construction program, such as (1) the infrastructure program will be a surge for small businesses (2) steady jobs for unioned workers for years to come (3) the revitalizing of the improvements of roads, bridges, and broadband for better communication, and opportunity through better internet capabilities. The White House boasts 2 million jobs per year for American workers and believed the project would last for about a decade.

The business world applauded the Biden Administrations’ infrastructure program and cite that it is well overdue. One of President Biden’s promises is to create good-paying jobs for Americans for the infrastructure bill, which means specifically union jobs. The bill distributes $39 billion in enhancements in public transportation and $66 billion to upgrade and expand commuter and shipping rails. Thus, 7.1 million union workers are in the private segment and another 7.2 in the public sector, and these projects will help small businesses nationwide.

On top of all this, the broadband part of the portfolio will have an additional $65 billion added to the budget, with another $73 billion for the power infrastructure and $21 billion for environmental cleanup—all with small businesses having some part in the massive undertaking to rebuild America’s infrastructure.  Our infrastructure has served a long time from a lack of investment, and the outcome is crumbling, cracking, and falling apart of these infrastructures. Now it is time to make the investment and bring everything back to par as one of the wealthiest nations in the globe should be.

Conclusion, Final Remarks

I must give Cudos to the Biden Administration for being a leader and providing leadership to the world once again; this has been lacking from the prior administration during the Trump era. Whereas one is giving hope and trying to bring a divided people together as one and the other worked to divide, spread contentment and fear of the boogie man is coming across the border to rape your daughters, bring drugs into this country, and take your jobs. Hence the Biden Administration is looking to build jobs organically through infrastructure projects.

With a $1 trillion infrastructure program designed to put America back to work on one side and upgrade our roads, bridges, develop broadband in rural areas for continued communication for all on the other. This infrastructure program is a Godsent for small businesses that could help them overcome the 1.5 years of the shutdowns due to the pandemic. The loss of jobs, the closing of industries, to a new renewal of Americans getting back to work.

 These anticipated jobs will go, for the most part to unions, and non-union workers who are skilled in the trade of construction. But the question is, will the jobs be of parity to all people and not just a selected few. If one ever noticed construction workers at the job site, you see few people of color, if any. Case-at-point, I live in Chicago, and there is a significant construction site right across the street from where I live, and they have worked this construction site since 2019. I have not seen one person of color (African American) at the construction site, now they may be some, but they are very few, if any, for they are never seen!

After saying this, there needs to be some follow-up research to that question, how many people of color (and divide the nationalities in the total whole) will work on these projects nationwide? Big businesses support this infrastructure program because it promotes small companies and a surge in commerce and works for union workers and skilled trade groups.

About the author:

Dr. Donald E. Mitchell holds a doctorate in Entrepreneurship and Business Management works as a Small Business Consultant specializing in alternative financing, digital transformation, digital marketing, e-commerce, and website development. He has offices in Southfield, Michigan, Chicago, Illinois. His primary focus is on small business organizations.


 Based on several articles that have been published and cited through this article by the author. The author’s beliefs are personal and reflect his worldview and experience in the issues and practices mentioned.

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