What could the Economic Stimulus Package mean to you?
While watching President Obama's speech last week, I noticed that most people in the room, including the Vice President and the Speaker of the House, had a small brochure they were reviewing while Obama was speaking. I have my own opinions about keep handouts in the box until the end of the presentation, but seeing those 'guides to the stimulus package' cheat sheets made me realize something: there is a plan. I thought about the scope of the plan, what rumors I've heard in the news, and my thoughts went immediately to 'how could our reps and dealers, and ultimately ETC look for opportunities to based on the projects created by the Obama plan?
Now, this is just my opinion, but I am willing to bet that there are projects in every state that will require our products - we have had a few inquires from different facilities who think they are slated to get money- and they were asking what they should budget for. There are plenty of potential projects that ETC might not make products for, but there could be countless opportunities for other products our reps and dealers offer. There might also be unrealized projects that could drive you to create a new business opportunity later- who knows, but it's worth a shot, isn't it? In these tough times, let's find every piece of new business we can- every little bit drives the economy forward!
I realized quickly that this information must be published somewhere, but I did not know even where to begin, so I asked our resident political watchdog, Joe Kirschling. Not surprisingly, Joe had a backlog of emails he'd been exchanging with other resources about this very subject. Joe was kind enough to not only send me several very interesting website links, including one to the Federal site detailing the plan, but Joe also took a few minutes to summarize several key points, and provide additional information about where people in each state can find out more, and even how you can contact your Senators and Representatives.
In addition to the information Joe wrote, he included Links to several sites that offer independent lists of project by state, that local governments have proposed to make use of the incoming federal money. While most are infrastructure projects like roadways, bridges, etc. - leave no stone unturned.
Here is what Joe had to say (with a few insertions of my own):
“A crisis is an opportunity riding the dangerous wind” - Chinese proverb
As funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act starts to flow to federal projects and state budgets, we can find opportunities for product sales by staying aware of projects and industries that are targeted for funding from the new law.
In President Obama’s address to congress on February 24th, 2009, he outlined his intentions for increased funding in three major areas: energy, health care, and education. All three of these areas represent opportunities for sales.
Energy – energy efficiency and conservation is a key component of the administration’s energy policy, Paradigm does this well. Capitalize on it. (e.g. energy efficiency initiatives at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration)
(Many of these facilities are in need of new lighting systems, and likely new energy management systems, to qualify for the most budget. There will be many, many facilities built in the 80's and 90's looking to upgrade their electrical lighting systems, install daylight harvesting systems, and more - and Unison Paradigm, SmartSwtich paired with the SmartLink Timeclock, other products you might represent are a very necessary part of this need!)
Health care – funding for health care means increased budgets and profits for hospitals and public health institutions (e.g. National Institutes of Health [NIH], Centers for Disease Control [CDC], and the Public Health Service).
Education – the commitment to increased funding for K-12 instruction as well as the push for all Americans to seek higher education with help from government funding, public and charter schools, community, technical, and junior colleges, and colleges and universities across the nation will see their budgets and building projects increase. Each of these venues includes opportunity for our products to be placed.
The administration has started an unprecedented policy of openness and accountability in conjunction with this law, which translates to increased access to information about how, when, and where all of the money is being spent. You can find information on specific federal government projects by going to www.recovery.gov.
In addition, much of the funding will be sent directly to the individual states intended for general areas of state government use rather than specific projects. For information on what projects within your state will be funded by this money, stay in close contact with the office of your governor, your state’s departments of Education, Energy, and Health Services. While some of this information will be available at www.recovery.gov, your state departments will likely be able to offer more specific details about projects that will benefit from the new funding. Also, contacting your senators and congressperson directly about what money will be available for which projects in your state is another fruitful route, as such officeholders are frequently anxious to boast about project expenditures for their constituencies.
(A list of the projects that have been submitted during the recent national meetings of mayors can be found here. Several states have their own 'recovery tracking site' found here.)
To contact your congressperson, go to www.house.gov and you can find your representative by typing your zip code in the field at the top of the home page. By clicking on the search result, you will be directed to the official’s website.
To contact your senators, go to www.senate.gov and find both of your senators by selecting your state in the “Find Your Senators” field at top right on the home page. The senators’ homepages will be in the search results.
(GET CREATIVE! THERE IS WORK OUT THERE! GOOD LUCK!)
P.S. An interesting list of other projects, which some think are wasteful, but may be of interest to many of us in this business can be found here. Finally, there is an interesting chart attached to this post (from recovery.gov) illustrating 'where the money is going'.