Despite glitches in the way it has been administered, the Payroll Protection Program has so far helped hundreds of construction firms across the country stay open and maintain staff levels, according to a just-released industry survey.
Conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America, the survey found that roughly 44 percent of responding firms said they had secured funds through the program, with another 15 percent saying their applications had been approved.
A smaller 8 percent of the 849 firms taking part in the survey said they had applied for loans under the program but had not yet received a response, while 7 percent of those applying said they had been informed that no more funds under the program were available, a response seen in other industries nationally that led to Congress approving an additional $310 billion in spending for the program.
Despite the need expressed by many contractors for more immediate financial assistance, a large 43 percent in the AGC survey said they would also like to see Congress approve a large federal infrastructure bill.
A smaller 35 percent came down in favor of a “pandemic risk insurance/covid-19 business and employee continuity and recovery fund,” with 33 percent opting for additional funding “for loan programs to maintain cash flows.”
Even though construction companies across the country have tried to push on with business since the COVID-19 outbreak was announced, 67 percent of the survey’s respondents reported that they had experienced either project delays or disruptions in the last month.
Stephen Sandherr, chief executive officer of the AGC, said the responses to the survey showed that while the Payroll Protection Program has helped many, such funds are “likely to run out well before demand for construction rebounds.”
In a statement, Sandherr continued: “The President and Congress need to start putting in place measures to revive our economy by rebuilding our infrastructure and restoring private-sector demand for construction.”
By Garry Boulard
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