Days before setting up shop in the Oval Office, Joe Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package called the American Rescue Plan.
It calls for a massive increase in government purchasing—and more on top of that, per a companion plan, the Biden Administration expects to presently unveil.
For small businesses and government vendors, all of this is welcome news.
However, the American Rescue Plan is just that—a plan. Congress will have the final say in how it shapes up, perhaps adding money here, shifting funds there, and penciling out various of Biden’s spending ideas, before putting the proposal to a vote.
Still, if even only a portion of the plan is put into effect, it will translate into abundant demand from first the federal government and then, soon after, from states and localities for an immense variety of goods, services, and solutions.
So, while nothing is as yet solidified, we at BidPrime think it’s worth examining the elements of the plan to help you prepare for the opportunities it potentially embodies.
Merely having a rough idea of the goods, services, and solutions expected to be needed will give you a jump on getting ready to respond to the RFPs and bid opportunities that will eventually materialize.
And, as a BidPrime client, that jump of yours will become a bounding leap thanks to the technology and all of the tools at your disposal for connecting with those opportunities.
The American Rescue Plan and the follow-on waiting in the wings are intended in part to address the ill effects on the U.S. economy caused by the global pandemic, as well as strengthen the nation’s efforts in other important areas.
A glimpse of the American Rescue Plan from 30,000 feet reveals that it seeks to attack COVID by initiating a national vaccination program.
There will also be big investments for procurement of COVID-battling supplies, plus purchases of everything necessary to enable public schools to reopen as soon as possible.
But that’s not all. The plan features generous funding to upgrade federal information technology infrastructure and to keep public transit systems rolling.
Now, it might be the case that your business took a hit during the COVID lockdowns. If so, you’re perhaps thinking, “It’s great that the government will want to buy my stuff, but I had to curtail operations and now I don’t have the wherewithal to get back to a place where I can give the government what it’s requesting.”
The challenge of keeping your business open and operational is addressed in the plan. Included in the American Rescue Plan is a call for Congress to provide $15 billion in grants to more than 1 million of the hardest hit small businesses. According to the plan, the money “will help small businesses get back on their feet, put the current disaster behind them, and build back better.”
Moreover, the plan envisions leveraging an additional $35 billion so that it transforms into $175 billion in low-interest loans and venture capital. The goal is “to help entrepreneurs provide the essential goods and services that communities depend on.”
The Biden Administration acknowledges the American Rescue Plan is ambitious (also included are provisions to pay individuals and families for their economic sufferings caused by the pandemic) but believes it is achievable.
$400 Billion for COVID-Specific Purchases
The centerpiece of the American Rescue Plan is funding aimed at tackling a multitude of needs brought about by the COVID crisis.
A sizable chunk of the $400 billion earmarked for that purpose would go to the creation and implementation of a national vaccination program. Biden feels that current vaccination efforts are insufficient to “quickly and equitably vaccinate the vast majority of the U.S. population” and, therefore, “those on the ground [must] have what they need to get vaccinations into people’s arms.”
The plan wants $20 billion of that $400 billion dedicated to the establishment of community vaccination centers. These will likely be set up in towns as well as cities. But the plan also calls upon states and localities to deploy fleets of mobile vaccination units in order to serve remote, sparsely populated areas.
The plan addresses what the Biden Administration believes have been problems with the COVID testing. “Despite innovations to improve testing, tests are still not widely available,” the plan states, adding that $50 billion will go toward a radical scaling up of testing and pay for “the purchase of rapid tests, investments to expand lab capacity, and support to help schools and local governments implement regular testing protocols.”
Also addressed by the plan is the chronic shortage of critical supplies. “The shortages have inhibited testing and vaccinations, as well as have placed frontline workers at risk,” the plan declares. Accordingly, $30 billion is slotted to ensure there will be plenty of PPE, masks, gloves, scrubs, vials, reagents, record-keeping materials, desks, chairs, exam tables, phones, apps, cleaning and sterilizing products, injectables-disposal containers, and on and on for all who wage war against COVID down in the trenches.
There is a set-aside of $10 billion extra to cover the cost of a National Guard deployment if such becomes necessary. And, if the Guard is called out, that means all sorts of supplies will be needed to feed, clothe, shelter, transport, equip, and communicate with those troops.
The public health workforce will receive a boost as well from the plan. Proposed is funding to hire 100,000 public health workers, which would nearly triple the ranks of those already serving in that capacity. For those new hires, public health departments will likely need more badges, stationery, satchels, desks, chairs, phones, pens, calendars, file folders, computers, accessories, office décor, and more.
To that list you can add chalk, chalkboards, rulers, pencil sharpeners, and a wide array of other goods, services, and solutions when the plan’s $130 billion for schools enables classrooms to reopen. Per the plan: “Schools need flexible resources to safely reopen and operate and/or facilitate remote learning….[The] funds can be used to reduce class sizes and modify spaces so students and teachers can socially distance; improve ventilation; implement mitigation measures; provide personal protective equipment ; increase transportation capacity to facilitate social distancing on the bus; create and expand community schools; and cover other costs needed to support safely reopening and support students.”
Funds for Technology Improvements
Along with addressing the public health and economic crises head on, Biden’s plan will provide emergency funding to upgrade federal information technology infrastructure and prevent data breaches (with just one of many examples being the notorious Solar Winds hacking in December).
“The recent cybersecurity breaches of federal government data systems underscore the importance and urgency of strengthening U.S. cybersecurity capabilities,” the plan states. Thus, Biden is calling on Congress to “launch the most ambitious effort ever to modernize and secure federal IT and networks.”
Here’s what the plan indicates this would look like:
Expansion and improvement of the Technology Modernization Fund. “A $9 billion investment will help the U.S. launch major new IT and cybersecurity shared services at the Cyber Security and Information Security Agency (CISA) and the General Services Administration and complete modernization projects at federal agencies. In addition, he is calling on Congress to change the fund’s reimbursement structure in order to fund more innovative and impactful projects.”
$200 million to the Information Technology Oversight and Reform fund “for the rapid hiring of hundreds of experts to support the federal Chief Information Security Officer and U.S. Digital Service.” (As with the hiring of more public health officials, this will create opportunities for outfitting entire offices with everything they and the people who occupy them need to conduct business.)
Building shared, secure services to drive transformational projects. “Investing $300 million in no-year funding for Technology Transformation Services in the General Services Administration will drive secure IT projects forward without the need of reimbursement from agencies.” Improving security monitoring and incident response activities. “An additional $690 million for CISA will bolster cybersecurity across federal civilian networks and support the piloting of new shared security and cloud computing services.”
There even are allocations for protecting the future of public transit. “Safe and dependable public transit systems are critical for a robust and equitable economy recovery,” the plan states. Public transit—the districts and systems hardest hit by COVID—would receive $20 billion in relief to, among other things, “[make] these transit systems more resilient.”
Sample Active Bids/RFPs
Bids related to areas from American Rescue Plan
Public Transit Systems
Trust BidPrime for the Answers
The American Rescue Plan is sweeping but short on specifics.
For example, after perusing its 19 pages, you’ll see that the feds, in addition to their own spending, will also be sending money to state and local governments and their subdivisions. But where will fed funds be targeted? For what purposes? And what will they be buying with all those newly available monies?
The best way to get answers to these questions is by, similar to what many businesses are already doing, leveraging BidPrime’s technology, tools, and service.
If you’ve been using BidPrime to uncover government RFPs and bid opportunities, then you already know that it can be set up to give you just those opportunities that are relevant to your business and interests. Here’s a quick look at how BidPrime puts those relevant bid opportunities in front of you—and usually within minutes of government entities making them public.
First, newly issued opportunities are processed through BidPrime’s Classif.ai Opportunity Analysis Engine (COAE). COAE gathers information from a broad set of internal analysis algorithms to tag and score every opportunity to relevant weighted clusters. These clusters include categories, proxy tags, and commodity/service domains.
Then, on your behalf and without you even having to ask, BidPrime’s team of Business Analysts builds unique Customer Profile Templates that finely tune your existing set of catalogs, codes, and/or keyword settings to relevant, matched results using COAE’s proven matching method.
See the advantage BidPrime will give you in finding and winning contracts from the American Rescue Plan. No credit card required. No obligation.
You also can carefully customize your set ups (with or without our help) through almost any preferred method, including codes, keywords, Boolean searches, and other provided feedback requirements.
We also audit, survey and keep watch over updates to your Account and Profile so that we can help ensure your success, by offering helpful suggestions as appropriate.
Our goal is to provide you with the versatility to identify relevant bids / RFPs matched to any unique requirement or need you possess. We meet this goal with the help of proven data science, industry-leading classification techniques, and an experienced Austin, Texas,-based team of Account Managers, Business Analysts, and Researchers.
A problem encountered by government vendors when they sign up for e-procurement systems (or most bid data services, for that matter), is their matched commodity codes result in a stream of irrelevant and noisy false alerts. BidPrime solves this by maximizing versatility in approaching classification from the top-down (agency to vendor) and from the bottom-up (customer to lead), streamlining it all with leading automation and the superior skillfulness of our team, according to BidPrime Chief Technology Officer Josh Schwartzbeck.
Other Invaluable BidPrime Services
Another BidPrime service available to you and will help you to successfully pursue American Rescue Plan opportunities (as well as all others) is ‘Docs on Demand’.
The ‘Docs on Demand’ service gives you one-click direct access to the supporting documentation accompanying many of the more than 5,000 newly released bids BidPrime captures every single day from well over 100,000 agencies in the U.S. and Canada. With regard to supporting documentation that doesn’t accompany bids, you need only request the documents and we’ll quickly obtain the information for you.
BidPrime also offers client support services that are second to one. Look at what’s included in most plans:
Initial Setup and Training
- Account setup and consultation.
- User profiles customized by state/region or categories.
- Training new/additional users to maximize the BidPrime experience.
- Facilitate your search customization to ensure relevant bids delivered through BidPrime’s automated alert system.
- Develop custom queries for federal set-asides; K-12 schools; higher education; power/utility authorities; airports/transit systems; and states/municipalities.
Continuity of Support
- An Account Manager is assigned to you and serves as your BidPrime go-to contact for when you have questions or need training, research insights, and government marketplace success tools.
- Communication with your Support Team Manager via email, phone, or online chat.
- Help with required registrations and locating required forms for bidding.
- Help reducing unwanted bid matches and other noise by placing into your account optimized keyword or entity exclusions.
- Ongoing training of your new personnel or users.
Access to Bidprime’s Insight Tools
- BidPrime’s Market Analysis snapshot lets you research, analyze historical solicitation data, and discover new trends.
- Help when you need it for researching bid tabulations and historical bid/award data.
As suggested earlier in this post, the American Rescue Plan could emerge as your opportunity towards doing a significant volume of business with federal, state, and local purchasing authorities. At BidPrime, it is our mission to help you have the best chance of winning your share of those contracts.
To become a BidPrime client, or simply to obtain more information about our unsurpassed services for connecting you with government RFP/bid opportunities, please visit our website or pick up the phone and call us at toll-free (888) 808-5356.