Michael Sheelen, bond manager of Small-Mid Contract, New York, Liberty Mutual Surety, Midsize Contractors
Small projects, big risks: 6 challenges for small and midsize contractors in the COVID-19 era
Contractors may assume that smaller projects equate to smaller problems — but that’s not always the case. Construction jobs of all sizes share many of the same logistical and legal risks — and those risks have become even more complex in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Supply chain issues, labor shortages, and payment delays now define the construction landscape — and many small and midsize contractors don’t have the financial cushion to stay afloat if something goes awry. A series of tough jobs could lead to significant losses for contractors who are unprepared. Here are six risk areas that construction companies should address to position themselves for success in the current COVID-19 era.
1. Distribution issues
As contractors are aware, the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily shut down manufacturers and suppliers across the nation, leading to unprecedented distribution challenges.
As of July 2021, the cost of construction materials is up 20 percent, with a 3.2 percent increase just in the last month. For some common materials, like softwood lumber, prices have increased by more than 125 percent in the last year.
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