Coronavirus: Small builders feeling the pressure
A survey of members by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) found that 78% of them are seeing projects delayed or cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The FMB, which represents small and medium-sized construction building companies, has written to the secretary of state for business, the housing secretary and the chancellor of the exchequer asking for help.
As a small to medium sized building firm operating across Shrewsbury, Shropshire and Wales, like all businesses, Sherratt Builders are doing all we can.
The business continues to be strong, but that’s not to say things aren’t tough and delays in getting materials is inevitably causing project delays and disruption.
The letter to Mr Sunak, signed by FMB chief executive Brian Berry, said: “I cannot stress enough that for many small building companies the impacts of Covid-19 are being felt immediately.
“Building firms are struggling as much as other sectors but unfortunately have not received the same attention. We recently surveyed our members on the impact of COVID-19, and they told us that the following impacts have already taken place:
- Delays and cancellations: 75% of FMB members operate in the repair and maintenance sector, primarily in the domestic market.
- Social distancing measures have meant three quarters (76%) of members have reported cancelled, delayed or paused projects.
- Cashflow is king in the construction industry and any delay to a project can have serious financial implications. The vast majority of firms (98%) have reported they will be unable to reclaim on their insurance for losses.
Fall in enquiries:
Just under two thirds (64%) of FMB members have seen a fall in the number of enquiries.
The FMB is also calling on the government to work with the Construction Industry Training Board to help employers keep their apprentices; provide clarification to builders and householders whether social distancing means all domestic building work must stop even if all concerned are well; and start to issue construction industry-specific guidance.
Brian Berry said: “The government has overlooked the market in which small builders operate. Builders working in the domestic sector simply cannot work from home and are feeling the impact of the pandemic as a result.
“The government must intervene as a matter of urgency if small building companies are to protect their workforces, avoid further job losses, and prevent building companies going to the wall.”
He continued: “We mustn’t allow a repeat of the 2008 recession when one in three SME construction firms left the industry. Building new homes and levelling-up infrastructure will be key to rebuilding our economy after the virus has passed, and the government will need an army of builders in place to deliver that.”
Here at Sherratt Builders, we remain positive and are still working across both the domestic and commercial sectors, while upholding all safety measures. If you have an enquiry or would like a quote, please do still contact us.
Bear with us if there is a little delay getting back to you or if there is a delay in a project due to the supply chain, please be reassured we are doing all we can.
Please call us on 01743 791815 or 07786 268435 if we can be of any assistance.