In an article yesterday in the New York Times by Michael Cooper, he points out that only 6% of the appropriated stimulus money in the $787 Billion package has been paid out to-date. Most of this has been spent to help states cover the cost of Medicaid and to provide $250 checks to Social Security recipients.
On the plus side, Cooper highlights situations like Columbus, OH where 26 police recruits laid off in January were re-hired, and Alabama, where the removal of 3800 teachers was halted due to the promise of stimulus money.
On the negative side, a recent National Governors Association meeting with Congress to report on stimulus spending was labeled as “premature,” and states like Virginia are attempting to deal with the administrative burden while shedding jobs.
The Obama administration has a goal to spend 70% of the stimulus money within two years. However, states are getting anxious to see the promised dollars flow their way so projects can be initiated. Bottom line: Now is the time for businesses to solidify their position and create strong value propositions with recipient agencies. Vendors with a flexible solution and strong complementary partnerships will be in the leading role when the checks are cut.