Federal infrastructure bill could be big boost for North Carolina businesses

National

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Family-owned Raleigh business Paving Professionals Inc. is now in its third year. It’s busy laying parking lots and making asphalt repairs at a number of job sites.

The company stands to get even more business due to the federal infrastructure bill that passed the U.S. Senate.

“It’s absolutely great. It’s going to help people get more jobs, it’s going to help everybody grow and get back busy again,” said co-owner Michael Stephenson.

If the legislation passes the U.S. House, it’s guaranteed to bring billions of dollars to North Carolina.

Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis voted yes for the bipartisan legislation.

“I’ve been involved in the negotiations as part of the working group for several months now. This is about $9 billion in road funding for North Carolina, $440 million in clean-water funds, funding for resiliency for our coastline to be better prepared for the next storm,” Tillis said.

The legislation would also pay to bring broadband to more than a million North Carolina households that don’t have access to the internet.

While many of the jobs to repair or replace crumbling infrastructure may go to larger contractors, Philip Lewis said businesses like his will still benefit.

“Which is going to free up some of the smaller work that’s available in the marketplace. That’s going to give us the opportunity to get more of that business than we already are doing,” Lewis said. He is the vice president and CFO of Paving Professionals Inc.

Paving Professionals said they were lucky enough to not be terribly affected by the pandemic and recession. There is still the stress of making sure their employees are able to remain employees. The infrastructure bill will help guarantee that and help their business grow.

“There’s going to be a lot more opportunity out there, and that way we can stretch further into this work and make sure our guys are paid and paid good, and are able to take care of their families,” Stephenson said.

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