Bennett Thrasher and Kennesaw State University’s (KSU) College of Architecture and Construction Management are proud to share the results of their fifth annual Georgia Construction Outlook Survey. This year’s survey, which focused on COVID-19’s impact on the industry in the state, captured insights and data from over 120 privately-held construction companies, including home builders, heavy contractors, general contractors and specialty contractors.
To elaborate on the results, Bennett Thrasher hosted a webinar, which was moderated by BT Partner Scott Hazy and included additional input from Zack Rippeon, Partner at Smith, Currie & Hancock; Scott Bodden, Senior Project Manager at JE Dunn Construction; and Khalid Siddiqi, Professor Emeritus of Construction Management at KSU. The discussion was centered around how the industry has responded to COVID-19 and helped construction leaders better understand the competitive landscape.
Key themes and highlights from the survey included:
- COVID19’s Impact on Temporary and Permanent Employment Levels: Compared to this time last year, 32% of respondents indicated employment levels have decreased. 52% of respondents said their employment levels were not directly impacted by COVID-19 whereas 45% said COVID-19 has had a negative impact. When asked about their employment outlook for 2021, 44% of respondents said they expect employment levels to remain the same, while 41% expect employment levels to increase, indicating a positive outlook for the upcoming year.
- Impacts to Schedule Delays and Backlogs as a Result of COVID-19: When asked about their backlogs, 42% of respondents reported that 10% or less of their overall backlog has been delayed or canceled due to the pandemic. 51% of survey respondents reported a lower project backlog from the prior year and 58% of the project backlog is reported as six months or less. General Contractors experienced the highest percentage of project delays at 33%.
- Strategies Implemented in Response to COVID-19: 62% of survey respondents identified Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans as the leading business strategy their company has implemented (or is working to implement) in response to COVID-19. Following PPP loans, 51% of respondents indicated they implemented more aggressive bidding practices. Other new business strategies included expanding business offerings and geographic reach; improving IT processes; and reducing overhead workforce.
- PPP Loans Obtained and Utilized: The majority of respondents (72%) obtained a PPP loan. Respondents whose companies obtained a loan were split on whether they plan to utilize the eight-week or 24-week covered period; 49% indicated they were planning to utilize the 24-week period compared to 51% who indicated they will utilize the eight-week period.
Bennett Thrasher’s Construction practice understands the opportunities and challenges the industry is facing as a result of COVID-19. For more information on how our experienced professionals can help you navigate these uncertain times, contact Scott Hazy by calling 770.396.2200. If you are interested in participating in next year’s survey, please email Bennett-Thrasher@btcpa.net.