An expression used traditionally in connection with infrastructure projects.
Projects that are “shovel ready” have gone through all relevant government planning stages. The only thing that may be wanting is funding, followed by the inevitable photo-op of the first shovel going into the ground.
Governments keep evergreen lists of “shovel ready” projects. Political commitment and the availability of resources usually dictate how and when any given project on those lists will start.
Economic crises expedite the pace of funding of “shovel ready projects”. Building key infrastructure in times of crisis stimulates economic activity by providing direct and indirect employment. Photos of politicians wearing hard hats also signals to taxpayers that their money, they hope, is being invested in the post-crisis recovery.
Image source: CBC
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