The Federal Stimulus fund will refund surety bond premiums for contractors ARRA transportation infrastructure contracts.
“This new program, which will be administered by the Department of Transportation’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), allows small and disadvantaged businesses to apply to be reimbursed for bonding premiums and fees incurred when competing for, or performing on, transportation infrastructure projects funded by ARRA. The program will be especially helpful for businesses with traditionally less working capital than larger contractors.”
The headline sure catches the eye, but how realistic is it? According to the site, only “small and disadvantaged businesses” can apply. When you read further down, it seems that they classify these businesses by their low working capital; one of the main items looked at when reviewing a contractor’s surety capacity.
Fortunately, it does allow the SBA bonded contractors to apply. However, SBA contractors’ bond lines are often reduced due to their lines of credit being reduced or terminated (SBA counts LOCs as working capital).
In other words, the government is willing to provide stimulus funds to refund contractors’ bond premiums, but only for contractors that don’t actually qualify for surety bonding.