As the economy recovers, it is very important to the Obama Administration that small businesses have every opportunity to compete for the transportation and construction contracts made possible by the Recovery Act and other DOT programs.
But everywhere we go, small businesses have voiced a common problem that limits their ability to compete: access to bonding.
Because access to bonding is a key obstacle small and disadvantaged businesses face, DOT has announced a series of workshops to help get these businesses bond-ready.
These workshops will be piloted by our Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) in Chicago, Dallas, and Atlanta in partnership with the Surety and Fidelity Association of America (SFAA).
Once a small business is bonded, it doesn't need to rely on a prime contractor. That is an important step toward growth and independent access to bigger and better contracts. Bonding opens the door for businesses to expand to another level.
But limited capital, lines of credit, equipment, personnel and character references are key factors in securing bonding. Because transportation and construction contracts are usually large, smaller businesses may not have the experience, capital or track record to compete for these contracts.
You can see how this obstacle can prevent a small business from ever breaking out. We want to help open things up.