As we end the 5th week since the first shelter-in-place orders, the country will begin to re-open. This will be an uncertain and frustrating sequence of events for contractors. Guidelines will change daily and won't be consistent by state, county, city, company, or contract even with the general conditions and three-phase guidelines set by the White House and CDC.
Remember that what's most important is calm and deliberate action while preparing yourself and your team for both the uncertainty of the coming weeks and the nearly certain recession that will follow. Look at your market(s), your capital, and your people rigorously.
- Nearly all of our clients with less than 1,000 employees have already received funding.
- The only ones that have not yet received their funding were those who didn't have a strong existing relationship with a solid local bank. In many ways, it seems that the large banks were unable to service all their customers.
- This underscores how important it is to have and build strong relationships with your bank. This includes utilizing services like your Line of Credit (LOC) even when it may not be an immediate necessity. It's as important for emergencies like COVID as it is for succession.
From an industry perspective, construction has lead the way in terms of how quickly they adapted to new on-site safety protocols. This made it much easier for industry associations like AGC and United Contractors to lobby the policy makers. All contractors benefited from the efforts of industry associations like these, not just their members. It's something we should all reflect on as we are planning how we support those organizations.
A lot can be learned by studying history, including how construction adapted during the 1918 flu.
There are plenty of leadership lessons in engineering and construction that can be taken from Lt. General Todd Semonite from the Army Corps of Engineers, including the lessons-learned in just in the first couple weeks since they engaged.