Over the past week, the stimulus package has been talked about as a sort of fiscal version of “Where’s Waldo?”
“Where’s the $787 billion?” asks BusinessWeek. Meanwhile, US Vice President Joe Biden offered up a strong defense of the administration’s pace in releasing the funds. So, what does that pace mean for industry?
Here’s what Al Gordon, chief executive officer of National Strategies, Inc., the nation’s largest consulting firm specialized in helping businesses sell to local and state governments, tells ExecutiveBiz:
“Spending through the recovery act is progressing consistently with the plans outlined when it was passed. The majority of the funds were expected to be allocated by the end of this year, and that is still the case. It is only approximately 150 days since the bill was passed and the spending was designed to occur over an 18-month period. When you look at the process for spending the dollars, the fact that most of the spending will not occur until this fall is not a surprise. The funds went to various federal programs, which in most situations are then sent to state and local governments to be spent. As a result of the transparency and reporting requirements associated with the recovery act, states and cities had to submit plans to the federal programs in order to receive their dollars. The process of sending the money to federal programs, getting states and local governments to apply for the dollars and submit specific plans for their usage, the give and take that typically occurs about these plans and then the release of the dollars takes time.”
Gordon’s key takeaway? “Companies should recognize that significant spending is about to occur and not decrease their efforts targeted at stimulus dollars,” he says.
For more specifics from Gordon, check out his recent interview with us.