America's small businesses account for more than 40 percent of U.S. GDP, create two-thirds of net new jobs, and employ almost half of America's workers. However, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, America's aging infrastructure prevented too many small businesses from reaching their full potential. President Biden's historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will equip America's Main Street entrepreneurs with the tools and resources they need to innovate, create good-paying jobs, and provide the essential goods and services our communities depend on. Specifically, President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will:
- Reduce small business shipping delays by upgrading our nation's transportation infrastructure. Decades of declining public investment has left our roads, bridges, rail, and transit systems in poor condition, with a trillion-dollar backlog of needed repairs. Prior to the pandemic, nearly two-thirds of small business owners considered local roads and bridges average, poor, or very poor quality and more than half of small business owners said infrastructure investments are crucial to the success of their business. The President's plan invests an additional $621 billion in transportation infrastructure and resilience to help small businesses obtain the inputs they need and deliver goods and services to consumers across America and around the world.
- Help small businesses hire new employees and reach new customers by providing universal broadband. Broadband internet is necessary for Americans to do their jobs and increasingly important for small business owners all across America. Yet, by one definition, more than 30 million Americans live in areas where there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds. Perhaps as a result, even before the pandemic, 7 in 10 small business owners felt it was important for Congress to fund broadband projects. President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will invest $65 billion in broadband infrastructure, helping ensure that every American has access to reliable high-speed internet and creating new opportunities for small businesses nationwide.
- Expand access to tens of billions of dollars' worth of federal, state, and local government contracts, including more than $37 billion through the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). For too long, America's small businesses have struggled to compete for and win government contracts. President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a historic procurement effort designed to support small businesses and tackle long standing inequities in the contracting system. Among other things, the legislation directs DOT to attempt to award more than $37 billion in federal contracts to small disadvantaged business contractors. Specifically, the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will seek to expend at least 10 percent of their more than $370 billion in contract authority through small disadvantaged businesses. President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will put Main Street to work rebuilding the nation's roads and bridges, eliminating the nation's lead service lines and pipes, deploying broadband, and installing thousands of miles of new and resilient transmission lines.
- Foster the development of Main Street small businesses in underserved communities by empowering the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). Latino and Black Americans are roughly 30 percent of the U.S. population; yet they currently own less than 10 percent of small businesses with employees. For more than 50 years, the federal agency whose entire focus is on addressing racial disparities in business ownership has been operating with meagre resources and without permanent authorization from Congress. President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will make MBDA permanent, elevate its Director to Under Secretary of Commerce, and give the agency more tools and authority. These actions will enable MBDA to create new programs to address the economic challenges facing underserved communities, expand small business ownership, and shrink longstanding inequities in wealth and opportunity.