Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
Signed into law in October 2021, the $2B infrastructure bill will mean contracts and grants flowing down to small businesses through the states. This bill funds programs rather than projects. There will likely be multiple projects under each program, including the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Program, Nationally Significant Freight, Highway Projects, and the Federal-Aid Highway Program.
Much of this funding comes from the Highway Trust Fund, which also has funding from grants like the Bridge Investment Program, Congestion Relief Program, Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program, and Reduction of Emissions at Port Facilities. You can find Fact Sheets and more information here at transportation.house.gov.
What Else is Included?
Roads and bridges, power, rail, clean energy, high-speed internet, drinking water, floods/ droughts/ wildfires, public transit, airports, pollution removal, ports, transportation safety programs, electronic vehicle charges, low-emission busses and ferries, and revitalization.
Why Does this Matter?
There is an aspiration 10% goal delegated for certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE). Prime contractors will also have subcontracting goals in place for DBEs, so there’s more than one way to win if you’re a disadvantaged small business.
Getting Certified – DOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)
Each state’s Department of Transportation (DOT) manages its certification program so if you’re a company capable of performing services nationwide, be sure to update your SAM registration to say YES to the question asking if you have been certified and by which state.
To qualify, your firm must be a small business based on the SBA size standards (including affiliates). The business must not have annual gross receipts over $22,410,000 in the previous three fiscal years. Your personal net worth cannot exceed $1.32 million. Excluded from this calculation are the owner’s interest in the applicant firm and his/her equity in their primary residence.
The firm’s ownership must possess the power and technical competence to manage day-to-day operations and account for majority ownership (51%) by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Read DOT guidelines here.
Here are the DBE certification processes by state:
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