Councils have been asked to look at whether they have any construction projects which could begin at short notice, should funding become available from Westminster.
First Minister Alex Salmond and Cosla president David O'Neill wrote to all 32 local authorities in Scotland to make the request.
Earlier this week Mr Salmond joined leaders of the other devolved administrations in calling on the UK Government to provide more money for capital investment.
The letter to councils, which follows the Scottish Government's budget announcement, said: "We understand that councils will be exercising their ability to borrow sensibly now at current low interest rates, to maximise capital investment at a time when it is particularly needed.
"The question is whether more can be done and whether there is anything that can be done nationally to support you in making optimum use of your borrowing powers.
"Additionally for some time, as you will be aware, the Scottish Government has been proposing to the UK Government that Scotland would benefit from additional spend on capital projects that are currently on hold from lack of available funds.
"There is potential that either additional or accelerated capital funding will become available through budget consequentials at the time of the UK autumn Budget, and we would want this to be used wherever its impact on the economy will be maximised, whether through councils or Scottish Government.
"We would therefore strongly encourage you to review now whether you have any 'shovel ready' projects that could be progressed quickly in your council area, in the event that further funding becomes available at fairly short notice."