Who has the time to read the 2,740-page H.R. 3684 bill titled, “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act”? There are 14 major provisions, and several minor initiatives. It has been estimated that this package would create approximately 660,000 jobs by year 2025. This $1.2 trillion initiative has as a primary goal the repair of our county’s roads and bridges. This work would employ primarily men wearing hard hats and heavy boots. Are there programs in the bill that have not been adequately addressed by the television, radio, or print media? Are there programs that would promote the employment of women? Are there opportunities for minorities?
Notable, however, is that recently added to the bill is an initiative for “Minority Business Development.” This includes “Minority Business Development Grants,” “New initiatives to Promote Economic Resiliency for Minority Businesses” and “Educational Development Relating to Management and Entrepreneurship.” Seven “Titles” (i.e., programs) have been detailed and these will be funded until year 2025.
If enacted, the bill would enroll the Minority Business Development Agency as a permanent part of the federal government. I am of the opinion that this sustained source of funding and training would empower both new and established minority businesses and in Buffalo.