January 13, 2021
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Top Story
Thousands of workers in various fields have filed complaints alleging their employers did not adequately protect them from COVID-19, but roofing contractors can take some steps to prevent liability claims, write Trent Cotney and Casey Verville of Cotney Construction Law. "Ultimately, if you follow OSHA and CDC guidelines and update your policies, manuals and contracts to address COVID-19 concerns, you can protect your company from COVID-19-related liability with or without government action to create a legal liability shield," they write.
Full Story: Professional Roofing (December 2020/January 2021) 
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News & Trends
5 cities poised for strong 2021 construction season
(Pixabay)
The coronavirus pandemic has put a damper on some construction activity, but work appears unusually active in Miami, Chicago, Seattle, Buffalo, N.Y., and Austin, Texas. Chicago is poised to see increased demand for data center construction, while Seattle is positioned to leverage a rebound in the educational and residential sectors.
Full Story: Construction Dive (1/12) 
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Roofing restoration provider Stellar Restoration Services has been acquired by fellow Houston company Cotton Holdings. Stellar Restoration will become a Cotton Holdings subsidiary and maintain its current leadership.
Full Story: Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (1/12) 
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Innovation and Tech
A home in a floating village on an Amsterdam canal is topped with a distinctive angular roof. "The floating volume has a pitched roof, but the coping of the roof is turned diagonal in the floor plan, which gives an optimization in usable space on the inside and an outspoken architectural design on the outside," architecture firm i29 says.
Full Story: Dezeen (1/11) 
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Energy & the Environment
Solar panel decommissioning is accelerating as costs fall, projects age and technology advances. The secondhand solar market is booming and platforms like EnergyBin are reselling equipment for use in developing markets, such as Afghanistan, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Full Story: Solar Power World (1/11) 
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The US is expected to add 39.7 gigawatts of generating capacity in 2021, and 15.4 GW and 12.2 GW of that total will come from solar and wind, respectively, according to the Energy Information Administration. The nation's battery storage capacity is slated to more than quadruple next year as 4.3 GW of new capacity comes online.
Full Story: U.S. Energy Information Administration (1/11) 
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In the Office
Contactless payments to continue to grow
(Duane Prokop/Getty Images)
Consumers' and retailers' adoption of contactless payments will continue to accelerate in 2021, financial experts say. "It bodes well for digital wallet and mobile pay usage, as well as cashierless experiences," says Hemal Nagarsheth, principal of financial institutions practice at Kearney.
Full Story: Modern Retail (tiered subscription model) (1/10) 
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Leaders should be starting 2021 by looking to innovate, anticipate change and rethink everything from their office space to their mission, says Denise Lee Yohn in this video and blog post. "Also, we need to craft an optimistic vision of the future of our business and set realistic goals for everyone -- and then show how we plan to achieve them," she says.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (1/12) 
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Government & Regulatory
Changes to the Paycheck Protection Program that reopens today include an eight- to 24-week window to use funds and a simpler forgiveness process for loans up to $150,000. Eligible expenses will expand to include property repairs and improvements and protective equipment for employees.
Full Story: Reuters (1/11),  Reuters (1/11) 
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Businesses need to use the 1099-NEC form to report contractor income on taxes this year rather than the 1099-MISC used in the past. Companies will file a 1099-NEC form if they've paid a contractor $600 or more for business services, writes Tom Taulli of PathwayTax.
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (1/10) 
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RT3 Thought Leadership
Why technology is key to success in 2021
(RT3)
Experts predict that tech will play a key role in keeping the roofing industry stable and will help contractors realize new operational efficiencies. Expect a surge in residential roofing and a downturn in commercial roofing in 2021.
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Jan. 18
In observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, Roofing Technology SmartBrief will not publish Monday, Jan. 18. Publication will resume Wednesday, Jan. 20.
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Take a stand. Be known for your courage and confidence.
Indra Nooyi, business executive
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