The Impact of COVID-19 on Payments and Order Cancellations for Suppliers and Distributors

At the present time, many suppliers and distributors are looking at the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses and thinking—hard.Thoughts are likely to be at three levels.1. Goods supplied for which payment has not been receivedFirst, in terms of goods supplied, it may be that payment has not yet been made. If the distributor becomes insolvent, it ...
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Decrease in April Construction Input Prices Spells Good News for Industry

A bit of good news made its way to the construction sector last week when Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reported a dip in construction input prices in April. Overall prices declined nearly 4.5% last month, the majority of the decline seen in nonresidential construction input prices at 4.2%. ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu said inflatio...
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Construction Unemployment Rises Nearly 15% in April

Unemployment has reached record highs since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the construction industry is feeling it. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the unemployment rate continued to rise in April with an increase of nearly 15%—a total of 20.5 million jobs lost in 30 days.NAHB reported residential construction employmen...
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COVID-19 Affects Nonresidential Building

COVID-19 continues to impact industries left and right and is now hitting the nonresidential building sector. The Dodge Momentum Index declined 6% in April, according to a release from Dodge Data & Analytics. The index measures the initial report of nonresidential projects in planning. Despite the significant drop, the full impact of COVID-19 h...
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Emergency Tolling of Mechanic’s Lien Deadlines in Ohio

The swiftly enacted Ohio Coronavirus Relief Bill ("HB 197") ostensibly extends recording and other mechanic's lien deadlines under the Ohio Revised Code. However, given uncertainty created by the bill, it is recommended that original deadlines be honored as if they had not been tolled.Deadlines TolledHB 197 tolls any "criminal, civil or administrat...
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Nonresidential Construction Spending in March Gives ‘False Sense’ of What’s Ahead

As the U.S. experiences this drastic economic downturn from COVID-19, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) revealed only a slight dip in nonresidential construction spending in March for a total of nearly $803 billion. Despite falling 0.1% in March, nonresidential construction spending increased 2% over the prior yearAccording to ABC, 12 of th...
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Few Contractors Are Confident About the Future Thanks to COVID-19

Contractors are not anticipating a bright foreseeable future, at least for the time being, thanks to COVID-19. According to a recent report from Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), its Construction Confidence Index (CCI), reached an all-time low in readings for sales, profit margins and staffing levels, with all three scores plummeting below...
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New Home Sales Plummet in March

 New single-family home sales have finally felt the impact of coronavirus outbreak. Sales plummeted 15.4% in March from the revised February rate, according to the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales are also 9.5% below March 2019."Despite the sharp decline in new home sales this month, the first quarter of 202...
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March Housing Starts Impacted by Coronavirus

U.S. housing starts have been greatly impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus. Privately owned housing starts fell more than 22% in March to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.216 million, according to the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. The staggering drop was the largest monthly step-back since March 1984, states R...
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Securing Mechanic’s Liens in Rhode Island During the COVID-19 Crisis

 The current COVID-19 crisis has complicated all facets of life, including securing mechanic's liens. Properly notarizing your lien and recording the lien are crucial steps to securing a valid and enforceable mechanic's lien in Rhode Island. While Rhode Island has implemented some procedures to remotely notarize documents, and in some instance...
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What You Need To Know About Doing Business During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Experts predict more outbreaks after COVID-19. Business leaders should start preparing now.Paying attention to force majeure clauses in contracts and watching for pandemic exclusions in insurance policies will be critical first steps. Leaders should assess supply chains and contracts with suppliers to ensure they have options when disruptions occur...
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Managing Lien Deadline Dates in Uncertain Times

The entire world has been turned upside down due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. It's impacted companies large and small and individuals rich and not so well off. Friends and family members are getting sick from the pandemic and the death toll is rising. And this is just over the last couple days. Experts predict the outbreak and economy could ...
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Construction Deemed Essential in New York

 Governors across the U.S. are closing nonessential businesses to help control the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). But the definition of "nonessential" varies from state to state and even from county to county, especially when it comes to the construction industry. Announcements from the government are challenging workers and business ow...
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Construction Law Professionals Weigh in on Coronavirus Impact

The coronavirus is wreaking havoc on industries worldwide, where closures began with factories and are spreading to businesses of all sizes. With confirmed cases increasing in the U.S. every day, construction experts are relying on economists' predictions in their assessment of the long-term ramifications to the industry.If there's one thing econom...
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Texas Federal Court Holds Insured’s Claim for Mechanic’s Lien Barred by Exclusions 3(a) and (d)

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas recently held that an insured's claim regarding a mechanic's lien was excluded from coverage under the title insurance policy under Exclusions 3(a) and 3(d). See Hall CA-NV, LLC v. Old Republic Nat'l Title Ins. Co., 2020 WL 869722 (N.D. Tex. Feb. 20, 2020). In the case, the insured...
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Changes to Iowa Mechanic’s Lien Law: Staying Informed Is Key

Iowa's mechanic's lien law saw a change in February after an Iowa Supreme Court Ruling. Previously, under Iowa statute, contractors were able to recover attorney's fees for all projects in addition to the amount owed. After the February ruling, this stipulation will no longer be applicable to residential projects, specifically for "homestead" prope...
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From GCs to Material Suppliers: Avoiding Slow Payments

Experience in the construction industry can tell you a lot about what makes a good general contractor (GC). Qualities such as industry knowledge, project and time management, and delegation skills certainly boost a GC's resume, but a professional of such high caliber can have their reputation tarnished with two words: slow payment. There is a laund...
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Don’t Sign Your Lien Rights Away

Reading the fine print is one of the better-known clichés, but there's a reason for it. Many sayings start from a small truth and grow to become world renown. Another famous saying, at least in the business-to-business credit world, is that construction creditors have a toolbox full of items they can use to better situate themselves to get paid. Co...
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Strategic Global Intelligence Brief for February 24, 2020

By Chris Kuehl, Ph.D., NACM Economist—Short Items of Interest—US Economy—Consumer Confidence WatchTomorrow, the Conference Board will release its latest survey data on the mind of the consumer. As long-time readers know by this time, I am not a huge fan of these consumer surveys as the consumer is notoriously fickle and hard to read. One day they a...
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Trade Negotiations Between US and India Reach First Steps

Following a two-day meeting in India, the U.S. and India concluded ongoing trade talks, which may begin a bilateral U.S.-India trade deal, according to a recent article in Reuters. The White House has not given any details on what the trade agreement may look like.Prior to meeting Feb. 24-25, the two nations negotiated for months on terms related t...
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