Stayed tuned, because USCIS has not yet provided a definition.
in the context of a building project, "shovel ready" commonly means a project that is considered to be in the advanced stages of development. Shovel-ready implies that the project can be begun by laborers and is past the planning stages, and would have the permits and teams in place and ready to move forward to begin work on the project. In other words, the project should be literally ready to have shovels enter the ground in order to commence work on the project. Shoveling or digging is typically the first step of a construction project.
A "shovel-ready" project is a project that includes a project that includes a business plan that represents a business project that is sufficiently developed to support the immediate filing of actual I-526 petitions from participating investors. The plan should be supported by economic analysis, the actual capital-investment structures and documentation for the investment offering, along with the anticipated regional economic impacts, and the Regional Center’s operating plan and structure.