Yesterday, U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee held a hearing entitled, “American Infrastructure and the Small Business Perspective” to explore how infrastructure needs impact small business. Marsia Geldert-Murphey, member of the ASCE Board of Direction, testified before the committee along with members from the National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association; NTCA – the Rural Broadband Association; and the National Electrical Contractors Association.
In her testimony, Geldert-Murphey highlighted the 2017 Infrastructure Report Card and the overall “D+” grade given to our infrastructure systems, the importance of infrastructure investment in the small business community, and how investment in our country’s infrastructure can help small businesses stay competitive in a global marketplace. She also referenced the 2016 economic study, Failure to Act: Closing the Infrastructure Investment Gap for America’s Economic Future and outlined specific steps that Congress should take to improve infrastructure for the benefit of small businesses.
To begin the hearing, both Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Acting Ranking Member Alma Adams (D-NC) spoke about the problems that small businesses face in terms of infrastructure and championed the idea of finding a solution. Chairman Chabot gave examples of notable infrastructure problems that can hurt small businesses, including the average 42 hours of productivity that commuters lose to traffic each year. Acting Ranking Member Adams noted the business opportunities that investment in infrastructure could bring. She also mentioned that President Trump’s Infrastructure Plan does not explicitly include benefits for small businesses and that Congress should work to identify the additional steps that need to be taken to ensure the success of small businesses.
Infrastructure impacts every American, including the economic driver that is small business. Exploring this topic helps better inform infrastructure legislation in the future.