Construction industry groups say they welcome the Obama administration’s plans announced on March 16 to free up credit markets for small businesses by temporarily increasing federal guarantees on Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to 90%, eliminating fees on 7(a) and 504 loan applications and purchasing securities backed by those loans. But they say an even more beneficial change for construction firms is the less-heralded expansion of SBA’s surety bond program. As part of the administration’s Financial Stability Plan announced by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in February, the maximum amount for construction contracts that qualify for SBAguaranteed surety bonds is being
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.