To Todd Harris, trouble at his local bank is a sign of thin times for his building contracting company, J.C. Harris & Sons, which is based in Elgin, Ill., not far from Chicago. Harris keeps an account at Amcore Bank, a mid-sized regional bank, and has even built its branch buildings. But like banks around the world, Amcore reported a loss for 2008: $97.5 million. William McManaman, Amcore’s CEO, told investors that in the last quarter of 2008, builders and developers accounted for the majority of the bank’s new bad loans. So for now, Amcore, like other banks, is about
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.