Gridlock is a challenge impacting many small businesses and their employees. It is not only traffic jams during commute time concerning business owners. Increased traffic congestion is eating into the bottom lines of small firms that rely on transportation to run their businesses. Congestion on the nation’s roads is estimated to cost the American economy $87.2 billion annually, according to testimony before Congress.
At a recent hearing of the House Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, entrepreneurs discussed traffic congestion challenges, and expressed hope for relief in the upcoming highway bill.
“As Congress writes the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act, I want to make sure that we are taking small businesses’ needs into account,” Congressman Jason Altmire (D-PA-) said. “Congestion on our nation’s highways reduces productivity and inflates production costs for small businesses everyday. The Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act would both create good paying jobs and provide small businesses with the 21st Century infrastructure they need.”
Congress is in the process of writing the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act. Witnesses stressed the importance of small business participation, citing the fact that small firms comprise the vast majority of the construction and manufacturing sectors.
According to a study by the Associated Equipment Distributors, every dollar of direct spending on heavy construction equipment–the kind used for infrastructure projects–puts $3.19 back into the economy. In 2007, $10.2 billion in direct spending for the purchase of these tools generated $92 billion in direct earnings, and supported over 262,000 jobs.