Three Essential Tips to Help Vendors Get in on the $1.2 Trillion U.S. Infrastructure Bill

Late last year, the United States Congress passed a $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Bill to help rebuild America. Additionally, government projects rose 39% during 2021, and we’re only seeing that level of growth increase just one month into 2022. Many businesses just like yours are asking themselves what they need to know in order to bid and win government contracts tied to infrastructure funding.

That’s why the team at Bonfire has prepared 3 tips to help you win big (and save costs while doing it!). We’ll cover winning strategies to get your business prepared for all the bid opportunities becoming available as funding continues to be dispersed to municipalities, special districts, and other government agencies across the U.S.

1. Know where the funding will be spent

This one is a no-brainer and a really simple place to start. Familiarizing yourself with what’s included in the Infrastructure Bill will help you to understand what types of projects you will want to look out for—and of course, if they fit your business. Remember, we’re talking about $1.2 trillion dollars on infrastructure projects, which include expanding broadband, repairing and rebuilding roads and bridges, improving transportation, and reducing greenhouse emissions. Businesses of all types and sizes will be needed to tackle these complex projects.

So what’s in the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Deal? The almost three thousand page Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes some new categories, in addition to the highway and infrastructure projects it typically allocates for. Here’s a high level summary on the new stimulus areas:

  • $110 billion for roads and bridges. In addition to construction and repair, the funding also helps pay for transportation research at universities, funding for Puerto Rico’s highways, and “congestion relief” in American cities
  • $66 billion for railroads. Funding includes upgrades and maintenance of America’s passenger rail system and freight rail safety, but nothing for high-speed rail.
  • $65 billion for the power grid. The bill would fund updates to power lines and cables, as well as provide money to prevent hacking of the power grid. Clean energy funding is also included.
  • $65 billion for broadband. Includes funding to expand broadband in rural areas and in low-income communities. Approximately $14 billion of the total would help reduce Internet bills for low-income citizens.
  • $55 billion for water infrastructure. This funding includes $15 billion for lead pipe replacement, $10 billion for chemical cleanup, and money to provide clean drinking water in tribal communities.
  • $50+ billion for cybersecurity and climate change. This resilience funding will protect infrastructure from cybersecurity attacks and address flooding, wildfires, coastal erosion, and droughts, along with other extreme weather events.
  • $39 billion for public transit. Funding here provides for upgrades to public transit systems nationwide. The allocation also includes money to create new bus routes and help make public transit more accessible to seniors and disabled Americans.
  • $25 billion for airports. This allocation provides funding for major upgrades and expansions at U.S. airports. Air traffic control towers and systems would receive $5 billion of the total for upgrades.
  • $21 billion for the environment. These monies would be used to clean up superfund and brownfield sites, abandoned mines, and old oil and gas wells.
  • $17 billion for ports. Half of the funds in this category would go to the Army Corps of Engineers for port infrastructure. Additional funds would go to the Coast Guard, ferry terminals, and reduction of truck emissions at ports.
  • $11 billion for safety. Appropriations here are to address highway, pedestrian, pipeline, and other safety areas with highway safety getting the bulk of the funding.
  • $8 billion for western water infrastructure. Ongoing drought conditions in the western half of the country will be addressed through investments in water treatment, storage, and reuse facilities.
  • $7.5 bill for electric vehicle charging stations. The Biden administration asked for this funding to build significantly more charging stations for electric vehicles across the nation.
  • $7.5 billion for electric school buses. With an emphasis on bus fleet replacement in low-income, rural, and tribal communities, this funding is expected to allow those communities to convert to zero-emission buses.

Source: Investopedia

2. Position your business to get in on the action

Now that you know where the money will be spent, what can you do to place your business in the best position to win government contracts? First, if you haven’t already done so, register your business with organizations to make it easier to be found and to increase your level of credibility. The first place to start is by registering your business on the System for Award Management (SAM) database, where you can create a profile making it easier for government procurement officers to find your business. Then, get on the pre-approved bidder list on the General Services Administration (GSA). Securing a contract with the GSA is also called “getting onto the GSA Schedule,” which means you’ve been approved to do business with the government.

As part of the registration process, you will need to apply for something called a DUNS number. All entities wishing to do business with the federal government must have a unique entity identifier (UEI). Currently, the DUNS number, which is a unique nine-character identification number provided by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) free of charge, is the official UEI.

With that out of the way, remember to start small as you begin bidding for government business. Government agencies view past performance as a key indicator of potential success, and to get your foot in the door, you should bid on projects where you’re confident you can deliver competitive value and where you’re certain that you have the resources to complete. There’s nothing worse than overcommitting on a project bid and then under-delivering on the expectations. Fortunately, for complex projects like those related to infrastructure, government agencies typically subcontract out services to multiple businesses that specialize in their respective area. Focus on projects that match your expertise, never overcommit, and you’ll be creating a positive reputation in the public sphere in no time.

3. Get matched with the right projects so you don’t miss out on an opportunity to bid!

Here’s the biggest area where Bonfire can help, and if you’ve ever submitted a bid using Bonfire in the past, you know just how simple it is. What many vendors don’t know is that Bonfire offers Bonfire Premium Vendor—a $399 USD per year subscription service that aggregates tens of thousands of government projects passing through Bonfire from over 500 government agencies across North America. From that, you get one centralized, searchable dashboard, customized for your business. That means you have a single destination to easily discover relevant bids that suit the specific products and services your business offers. It saves your business valuable time and effort typically spent searching the internet for relevant government projects. What’s even better is that we’ll even find the projects that meet your criteria and send recommendations right to your inbox, so you never miss out on the chance to win a government contract and grow your business.

And there you have it—three simple strategies to help your business win government contracts today and tomorrow. The opportunity to grow your business has never been more exciting and a Bonfire Premium Vendor subscription can help.