March 3, 2009 - Washington, DC
Stimulus Package to Assist With Surety Bonds
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is considered to be the most sweeping economic recovery package in our nation's history.
U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin (D‐MD), member of the U.S. Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee sponsored an amendment to that Act, improving the Small Business Administration's (SBA) ability to guarantee surety bonds for stimulus‐funded construction projects.
In October of 2008, government officials, Tony Jacobs of Metropolitan Enterprises, Inc., Brian Anderson of TABCON, Inc., veteran‐owned contracting firms, Dennis DeMolet, representing VET‐Force, Gil Genn of Genn & Murphy, LLC, and The Barbour Group, LLC met with the SBA Bond Program Director, Frank Lalumiere, to discuss revamping the SBA Bond Program. Recently, Karen Barbour of The Barbour Group, LLC, a Maryland based bonding and insurance agency and her lobbyist Gil Genn, a former U.S. Senate staffer, met with Priscilla Ross, Legislative Director to Senator Cardin. That meeting spurred Senator Cardin to introduce the amendment which includes: increased SBA guaranteed bond from $2 million to $5 million, discretionary authority to cover individual contracts up to $10 million, and increased SBA bond program eligibility standards.
"Small businesses asked Congress to take action, and that's what we've done," said Senator Cardin.
Previously, to qualify for SBA bonds specialty and general contractors could not exceed $7 million in average annual sales over three years. Now, specialty contractors will remain eligible if their three year average annual sales don't exceed $14.2 million. General and heavy contractors will remain eligible if their three year average annual sales don't exceed $33.5 million.
"Senator Cardin engineered the change that many others were unable to accomplish," said Karen Barbour.