With Barack Obama now the 44th President of the United States, and a new administration settling in to Washington, one thing is very clear — economic stimulus is the number one priority. As we are waiting to find out the exact size and details of the approved stimulus package, businesses throughout the country are positioning themselves to benefit. Women in business must not let this opportunity go by.

Real money will change hands. State and local government projects that were once stalled will now proceed. New initiatives will be crafted. And opportunities abound for businesses large and small. Schools will be built, roads will be paved, hospital wings will be created, and new technology will be purchased and implemented.

Prior to assuming my role with Pegasus Capital Advisors, I was the Senior Advisor to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and saw savvy private-sector entrepreneurs always find a way to involve themselves in this process and, frankly, government welcomed this involvement. The key is to begin your research now, before the money
has been spent.

Right now, officials on the state and local level are crafting project lists to allocate funding they will receive. These include projects of all sizes and stripes — projects that are ready to go shovel in the ground and longer-term ones that may take two years to complete. If you have the budget to hire a good government affairs firm, or one that specializes in local government procurement -- like National Strategies Inc. -- you should call them now. If you don't, search online. Project lists are often published on government websites. If they are not available online and you do not have a contact to reach, pick up the phone and establish one. Or march down to city hall and make a formal request.

When you have the lists in hand, review them carefully to determine how your business might fit. Once the projects are finalized, they will begin soliciting bids from local vendors. Your government needs you — but may simply not be aware of you. When the shovels break ground, those federal dollars will have wound their way through the different government levels and into the bank accounts of thousands of proactive businesspeople.

Make yourself one of them.