Contract Surety

Up At Night?



If you’re running a construction business, you’re not alone if you’re tossing in your sleep. A recent survey by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) found that COVID-19—and its disruption of the supply chain—remains a top concern throughout the industry, even as public infrastructure dollars get flowing. Hiring also remains a concern.


Higher Costs, Lower Profits

Summarizing the findings of AGC’s 2023 Construction Outlook National Survey, Construction Dive reports “Contractors’ biggest concern for the coming year is the supply chain. The ongoing issues cause project delays, time-consuming logistical headaches and price hikes for materials.” Nonetheless, federally funded infrastructure work has many builders feeling bullish while private sector work continues to raise the most anxiety:


As inflation and the specter of a recession continue to loom, contractors are feeling less confident about private sector work. Builders have reason to be worried: last year 36% of respondents had projects canceled or postponed but not rescheduled. The main reason given, for about half the projects, was rising costs.


Although contractors are optimistic overall, that doesn’t mean there aren’t rocky times ahead, said AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson in a webinar last week about the survey. “Even when we’ve had recessions or slow growth expectations for the economy, contractors are by nature optimists,” Simonson said. “But it is notable that in nearly all of these categories, particularly on the private side, contractors have lower net positive readings or deeper negative readings than they did in previous years.”


In the past year, coping with supply issues found 70% of builders accelerating purchases once contracts were won, while about 50% sought alternative suppliers and materials and roughly 22% “stockpiled items before winning contracts.” Another concern keeping construction company owners up at night is predicted to become even more challenging in the year ahead:


Workforce shortages make projects take longer and cost more, and look set to worsen in 2023. In the coming year, 69% of contractors expect to hire and only 11% expect to reduce their headcount, according to the survey. To entice workers, last year 72% increased base pay rates more than in 2021 and about a third boosted bonuses and benefits. Despite those efforts, 80% are currently having difficulty finding workers and a majority of respondents expect those difficulties to persist. Plus, 83% of contractors worry the shortage and resulting inexperienced skilled labor pool will pose a challenge to the safety and health of their firm’s workers — the biggest threat respondents identified by far. 


Attracting, training and retaining a new labor force is indeed high on the to do list for most builders these days. Ever more crunched for time, ambituous builders rely on

The Partnership Account® for Contractors for increased control of financial operations—and an edge against the competition. In addition to a surety line of credit—in writing, The Partnership Account® gives qualified construction companies:


  • Control of bidding and bonding, online and in real time.
  • Powers of attorney to seal and issue their own bid bonds—in minutes
  • Fast, direct, confidential bid bonds—no middleman.
  • Direct access to performance and payment bonds on a customized dashboard.
  • Real time tracking of bids and work on hand.Immediate access to Colonial’s lead underwriter as new opportunities emerge.
  • A private Owner’s Dashboard to view surety lines, adjust work and analyze bids.


Pre-Qualify and Get Free Scores Here.


Despite the challenges ahead, opportunity abounds and builders leveraging The Partnership Account for Contractors® are winning. After qualifying for this free service, you’ll be more competitive then ever too. The Partnership Account  gives you a private digital dashboard, providing a day to day snapshot of your single and aggregate limits, as well as your current and available bond capacity. Go ahead: update your work on hand, increasing your aggregate so you can move that next project forward. Bid bonds, performance bonds, payment bonds: in a snap! Got a special opportunity coming along? Let’s talk!


Get started today: Pre-Qualify and Get Free Scores Here.


Founded in 1930, Colonial Surety Company is a leading direct seller and writer of surety bonds and insurance products across the USA. Colonial is rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best Company and U.S. Treasury listed.