February 17, 2009, 10:24 AM — I must have missed the memo. Somehow, every single journalist and blogger in America has agreed to incorporate the phrase "the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression" into every article about the economy. Technically speaking, it's the worst economic crisis since 1983, but then again, it's not over yet. By the time it's done, it may well get much worse before it gets better. The stimulus bill is a bold measure to try to fix things, but it's by no means a slam-dunk.
With the measure finally past Congress and destined for the President's signature, VARs are starting to take a new look at what's buried deep inside (besides of course, the inevitable waste, graft, and pork). We may be paying the piper ten years down the road, but for now, everybody wants to know what's in it for them, and that's only natural. That is after all, the purpose of the bill. So what's in it for VARs? Of course, there's no specific element of the bill that offers any sort of bailout directly to the IT industry or small business, the benefit will be more of an indirect scenario. That's too bad too, because small business could use it more than anybody--they just don't have the wherewithal to take a private jet to Washington and ask for it.
ChannelWeb has a great slideshow about some of the contracting opportunities that may arise out of the stimulus bill for VARs. Most of the bill's going to a combination of tax cuts and infrastructure projects, which will put paychecks in the hands of the hardhats and more dollars into the pockets of the middle class, and it's hard to argue with that. There are some direct opportunities to look for though, in things like electronic medical records, the broadband industry, and "green IT". And of course, needless to say, if you're a government bureaucrat, you job just got a little bit more secure, and you'll be able to bring in your sister and brother-in-law, too.