It wasn’t too long ago that we were talking about how the anticipated boom in public sector infrastructure projects could be a boon for private sector companies with the right project management experience, engineering expertise, materials and/or labor resources. New solicitations were posted every day. Bids were flowing in. Contracts were being awarded. Projects hit the ground (or, should we say, road) running. Then, out of nowhere, COVID-19 came in and changed everything.
In most states, publicly funded infrastructure projects were deemed essential and crews kept working. Supplies remained readily available, and enhanced COVID-19 safety measures were being enforced on job sites to mitigate the spread of the virus. So, when the stop-work notices started appearing in contractors’ inboxes, many were left wondering why. What would cause more than 700 cities to suddenly delay or completely cancel infrastructure projects?
Bottomline, COVID-19 hit state and local governments’ bottom lines so hard, they had to prioritize spend. Sustained infrastructure modernization is critical to economic recovery and the long-term well-being of this nation, but so is flattening the curve. Though essential, infrastructure projects aren’t as urgent as those focused on increasing healthcare capacity and protecting the immediate well-being of individuals. And the federal Moving Forward Act, which aims to inject $1.5 trillion into the economy specifically for infrastructure modernization projects, isn’t moving forward fast enough to avert budget shortfalls.
This isn’t all bad news, though. Companies that have had their contracts terminated due to project cancellations can confidently start to bid on new opportunities. Those who may still be in limbo – unsure of how long projects may be delayed – still have the luxury of expanded resource availability. Crews and materials that were previously committed could now be made available for new, perhaps even better, opportunities. Though infrastructure expansion was deprioritized, not all work has been halted.
Buildings, pipelines and other assets still need to be maintained and, in some cases, upgraded to support increased usage. For example, the residential demand on gas, electric, water and telecommunications services is growing from the sheer number of people staying home to stay safe. Traffic at parks and other recreational areas is also rising as people seek safer ways to exercise and socialize. Though road construction may have slowed temporarily, the growth of cities has not. Road projects will never stop completely. In fact, many government agencies are taking advantage of the lighter traffic to try and accelerate project timelines.
In other words, there are still plenty of opportunities to secure new infrastructure-related contracts with government agencies if you are willing to apply your skill set and resources in a slightly different way in order to follow the demand.
If you are a developer, could you consult on planning projects? If your company specializes in project management, could you pivot to inspection and maintenance services? Could you sell just your raw construction materials and turn your crews into fulfillment teams? The answer is, “quite possibly.” Doing so could help keep revenue flowing in so that you can sustain your operations – and possibly even grow them – for the duration of this pandemic.
If you’re able to adapt your business and pursue opportunities adjacent to your core specialty, your addressable market will automatically expand and you’ll likely find that your relevance to government agencies will increase, particularly if you can deliver a good or service that’s in high demand. Then, when the dust from COVID-19 settles and funding becomes available to restart major infrastructure projects, you could be well-positioned to successfully compete for all kinds of contracts.
Ready to Get Back to Work?
There are approximately 100,000+ new bids published in BidSync each month from more than 100,000 federal, state and local agencies (including school districts, special districts, municipalities and non-profits). This translates to approximately $2 billion in new business opportunities each month. Of course, not all solicitations issued by government agencies are going to relevant to you, but many will be. If you’re not logging into your dashboard or checking your email notifications daily to see what types of infrastructure-related goods, services and expertise are needed right now, then you’re missing out on potential opportunities to get to work and even grow your business, even in the middle of a pandemic.
If you aren’t familiar with BidSync, you can check it out for free. If you are a BidSync subscriber, use this tool to strategize the best next steps for your business. Don’t let a delayed or cancelled project keep you from moving forward. There are plenty of opportunities out there. Fortunately, with BidSync, you won’t have to look too hard to find them. We’ll find them for you.