NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The federal government’s big infrastructure law will mean billions of dollars in spending in Connecticut. The question is, who will get those contracts?
At the Floyd Little Field House in New Haven, Monday morning was an information fair, with tables staffed by government agencies looking to help small businesses get that work.
“If there’s an opportunity to make money, I want to be there,” said Erik Johansson, owner of The Happy Cow, Llc as he looked around.
The government has a lot of money. Thanks to the one point two trillion-dollar infrastructure spending package that is now law, there is about to be a lot of building happening.
“It will be great for Connecticut as well as our nation,” said Amy Jackson Grove, the Federal Highway Administration Division Administrator. “It will result in a multitude of bridge, road, and tunnel projects.”
There are federal and state employees whose entire job is to help small businesses be a part of those projects
“We want to see many of the small businesses in this room take advantage of what Congress has applied for and has been approved,” said Joe Williams of the Connecticut Small Business Development Center.
Johansson has already gotten some help with a load to expand his business, but he said it was not easy.
“Just be persistent and try to overcome all the obstacles and anticipate everything,” Johansson said. “It’s a job. Literally, it was a job getting that loan.”
The good news is, that the federal government knows it is usually big businesses that get government contracts, and it is trying to change that.
“We are shifting the public resources to specifically help small businesses and those that are in the most need including ones owned by women and minorities,” explained U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D – Appropriations Committee Chair).
Minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, veteran-owned businesses, there are lots of programs, but you have to be registered with the state as a small business to access them.