How Local CPAs Stand to Gain from the ARRA Economic Stimulus Package

The ARRA federal recovery program could add 1.6 million jobs to small businesses.

Local and regional accounting firms -- the backbone of the profession -- stand to reap a small windfall, if not a lifeline, from the federal spending plan. As we've been reporting, they are already outperforming the rest of the profession and all but a few economic sectors, like healthcare and education.

Mark Koziel at the AICPA reports today that smaller firms are expecting "marginal growth in the upcoming year and some are even expecting double digit growth."

And now, a new research report underwritten by SAP software suggests why: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a $787 billion initiative, is generally expected to create 3 to 4 million jobs over the next two years. One of the report's authors, Steve King at Emergent Research says, "a significant share of jobs created or saved will be in sectors where growing businesses play a major role." (Steve, by the way, blogs at SmallBizLabs.)

Emergent predicts particularly rapid growth in:

  • Construction -- 505,000 jobs in small and mid-sized business.
  • Renewable and clean energy -- 215,000 local jobs.
  • Information technology -- 114,000 jobs.

Other areas to watch:

  • Transportation infrastructure
  • Health care
  • Education
  • Workforce training
  • Broadband internet

But CPAs need to move quickly. Most of the money will spent quickly.

"The government plans to have 75% of money committed to projects by September of 2010 and 91% committed by September of 2011. Stimulus spending has already started and will ramp up over the summer and into the fall of 2009," he says. "Because of this, growing businesses need to be prepared now to act on opportunities created by stimulus spending."

FREE DOWNLOAD: The report -- "The Stimulus Package: What It Means for Growing Businesses" -- is available here (PDF, 21 pages).