COVID-19 has slowed payments for GCs and subs, report finds

Dive Temporary:

  • Just 1 development small business in 10 constantly gets compensated in whole, a 75% drop from just before the pandemic, in accordance to the 2021 Design Money Stream & Payment Report. Payment delays have also worsened: Just 9% of corporations generally get compensated on time, a decrease of 60% from past calendar year. 
  • The report from construction computer software firm Levelset discovered that some of the economic threat correlates immediately to the design payment chain. Standard contractors are 4 periods far more possible than subcontractors to get paid out in 30 days, and 50% a lot more probable to get paid in whole. Just one in 5 subcontractors, suppliers and other sub-tier get-togethers routinely wait around further than 60 times to collect payment. 
  • The hole widens even even further when it arrives to collecting retainage, which 61% of all companies say is “pretty essential” or “the most critical aspect” for cash circulation. Fifty-6 percent of subcontractors hold out extra than 60 times to accumulate retained cash, compared to just 16% of basic contractors. 

Dive Insight:

The examine found that payment velocity also correlates strongly to challenge sort. Residential design businesses are three times extra possible to obtain payment within 30 days than those people on industrial projects, and 5 moments more probably than people on public tasks. And when only one in five homebuilders (17%) say they constantly get compensated on time, they vastly outperform those on govt projects (7%) and commercial work (4%).



“The pandemic drove economic uncertainty as a result of the roof and set an extra kink in the stream of money on initiatives across the country, ” explained Scott Wolfe Jr., CEO of Levelset. “Payment delays throttle a firm’s capacity to be aggressive, get on new assignments, and grow their business enterprise.” 

Right after 40 days, one particular in five building businesses is funds circulation destructive, acquiring now paid out their subcontractors, suppliers, and other distributors — but still waiting around for payment. Forty-seven percent of firms say payment delays reduce their income, and just one in three transform to financial loans or other funding to bridge the money circulation gap, including interest and other fees. 



To mitigate opportunity payment troubles or to gather payment, contractors report an increase in preliminary notices and mechanics liens. Just above 50 % of companies (51%) send out a preliminary observe on a regular task, up from just 29% in 2020. Lien promises are on the rise as very well, with 71% of building firms filing a lien in excess of non-payment in 2020, a 22% increase from 2019. 

Design companies also report investing in other options to support pace up payment. Some of the findings consist of:

  • 83% of construction corporations have the capacity to take electronic payments and 79% say it has assisted their business get paid more rapidly. 
  • Companies applying computer software for monitoring and processing payments grew 113% year-over-calendar year.
  • Software package for payment paperwork is up 67% due to the fact 2019. 
  • Just 8% of development providers say they really don’t use software program at all — down from 21% in 2019.