Small projects, big risks - 6 challenges for small and midsize contractors in the COVID-19 era - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Small projects, big risks: 6 challenges for small and midsize contractors in the COVID-19 era

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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Mindless Habits That Are Wasting Your Money - Shield Insurance Agency Resources

Mindless Habits That Are Wasting Your Money

Experts share the small spending habits that add up. Mindless Habits.

By Caroline Bologna | 11/04/2021 | 06:40pm EDT |

“How did I spend so much?!” is a fairly common reaction to a monthly credit card bill. It’s usually followed by the realization that some things need to change.

Cutting back on spending might involve big life changes, like moving to a less- expensive neighborhood or skipping out on an annual group vacation. But it can also involve a reexamination of the smaller things that add up, like the spending we do without much consideration.

From monthly subscriptions that should’ve been canceled long ago to that impulse to buy products simply because the deal is so good, there are many mindless spending habits that waste money. Below, personal finance experts share 16 common ones and their tips for breaking them.

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National Gratitude Month - Shield Insurance Agency

National Gratitude Month

Use #NationalGratitudeMonth | National Day Calendar

National Gratitude Month in November encourages us to embrace the power of gratitude.

Gratitude is more than simply saying “thank you.” Gratitude’s amazing powers have the ability to shift us from focusing on the negative to appreciating what is positive in our lives. Practicing daily gratitude gives us a deeper connection to ourselves, the world around us, and to our Creator.

Everything in our lives has the ability to improve when we are grateful. Research has shown that gratitude can enhance our moods, decrease stress, and drastically improve our overall level of health and wellbeing. On average, grateful people tend to have fewer stress-related illnesses and experience less depression and lowered blood pressure, they are more physically fit, they are happier, have a higher income, have more satisfying personal and professional relationships, and will be better liked. Grateful kids are even more likely to get A’s in school.

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Toys For Tots can be dropped off at the Shield Insurance Agency Home Office in Hudsonville, MI

Stop by the Shield office and drop off a Toys For Tots donation

Click here for details

Bring the Joy of Christmas to Less Fortunate Children

The Shield Insurance Home Office in Hudsonville, MI, is proud to support the Toys for Tots Foundation.

Please stop by and drop off a Toy for Tots!

The Local Impact

Holland MI during 2020

Toys Distributed
Children Supported

Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity is the fundraising, funding, and support organization for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The Foundation was created at the behest of the U. S. Marine Corps and provides support in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding with the Commander, Marine Forces Reserve, who directs the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The Foundation has supported Toys for Tots since 1991.

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Shield Insurance Thanks All Veterans

Favorite Veterans Day Poems

from the National Endowments of the Arts in honor of Veterans Day

Battleground” by William Trowbridge

“Those nights I heard shouts from the dark
of my parents’ room, he was back down
in his foxhole, barking orders, taking fire…”

At the Vietnam War Memorial” by Robert Dana

“…we’ve come to find
your brother’s name, etched
in the long black muster
of sixteen years of war—”

Thanks” by Yusef Komunyakaa

for the vague white flower
that pointed to the gleaming metal
reflecting how it is to be broken…”

Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen

“Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs…”

Click here for Veteran Day more poems

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10 Tips to Avoid Food Waste at Home - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

10 Tips to Avoid Food Waste at Home

By Fred Decker  | December 1, 2020 |

Whether you’re looking to reduce your personal carbon footprint or just stretch your budget, cutting down on the amount of food you waste in your home is a big step in the right direction. Most of us waste more than we think (if you weighed and wrote down what you throw out as many restaurants do, you’d be shocked), and learning to reduce food waste is one of the most powerful things you can do as an individual. Here are 10 tips to get you started.

1. First In, First Out

When it comes to minimizing food waste, you can learn a lot from the professionals. Restaurants organize ingredients on a system of “first in, first out” or FIFO, which just means organizing your food so you always use older things before newer things. Restaurants might label and date their ingredients, but you probably don’t need to do that at home (though it helps). Just make sure when you’re putting things away that you leave the old food front and center, and tuck the new stuff in behind. Whether it’s your fridge, freezer or pantry, that usually does the trick.

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4 ways to make the moves easier for family caregivers and their loved ones

Managing the Transition From Hospital to Rehab to Home

4 ways to make the moves easier for family caregivers and their loved ones

by Amy Goyer |  AARP | October 27, 2021

I’ve recently been helping a friend who has been managing her mother’s transitions from a hospital to a rehab facility, and then again to another rehab facility that wants to send her home before she, or her family, is ready. It reminded me of how tough family caregiving transitions can be. As a longtime family caregiver of many including both parents and my sister, I’ve been through many of them — some smooth, others unexpected and rocky. Caregivers play a crucial role in easing transitions, helping to ensure that loved ones adjust and get appropriate care along the way.

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12 DIY Board Games So You're Never Bored - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

12 DIY Board Games So You’re Never Bored

By LAUREN THOMANN | Updated on 05/05/20 |

Board games are a great way to keep busy and connect with friends and family members. Don’t have any on hand? You may not have known that you can make your own! These 12 DIY board games below could help save you from boredom if you happen to be stuck in the house. Plus, it’s a reason to break out the crafting supplies!

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Delayed claims reporting - the true cost to businesses and injured workers - shield insurance agency blog

Delayed claims reporting: the true cost to businesses and injured workers

Get the details of our latest deep dive into workers comp with our Claims Reporting Lag Study report.

Business Insurance > Insights > Delayed claims reporting: the true cost to businesses and injured workers

Workplace injuries that go unreported can keep employees on the sidelines — uncertain about treatment and unclear on what to expect under their state’s WC system. When workplace incidents do happen, prompt claim reporting is a key factor to ensuring injured employees receive the necessary care to feel supported in a successful return — and minimizing business impact.

Businesses appreciate the value of speed. Consider these strategies to accelerate your injury reporting:

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4 Simple Steps to Fight Identity Fraud - Shield Insurance Blog

4 Simple Steps to Fight Identity Fraud

New AARP-sponsored report shows the most common ruses adopted by scammers

by Katherine Skiba, AARP, October 11, 2021

​Identity fraud is easy money for criminals, but there are four steps you can take to protect yourself and your money:​​

  1. Ignore requests for an urgent form of payment, such as using a gift card or making a wire transfer.
  2. ​Protect your passwords and log-in information.
  3. Do not communicate with strangers about confidential or sensitive financial matters.
  4. Verify everything you’re told to determine if a supposed problem truly requires your attention.

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