States, cities vary on allowing construction amid pandemic | Shutdowns, containment, stimulus -- all factors in uncertain construction outlook | Electronic bonding is an option in Canada during pandemic
April 1, 2020
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Leading News
States and municipalities are taking a range of approaches to letting construction projects move forward during the coronavirus pandemic. Several major projects are continuing, while some have been put on hold.
Full Story: Construction Dive (4/1) 
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Dodge Data & Analytics predicts a 6.3% plunge in second-quarter GDP because of shutdowns across the economy to stem the spread of the coronavirus, but the outlook for construction is hazier. Shutdowns could affect projects, while other influential factors include federal stimulus and the speed at which the virus is contained.
Full Story: Dodge Data & Analytics (3/24) 
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Surety Agents and Sureties Can Help Small Contractors Manage Risk
Before bidding on jobs or signing contracts, small contractors should get expert information from surety agents and sureties on how to reduce risk. Working together, they can examine and mitigate possible risks from owners, general contractors, contract language, suppliers, labor issues, materials availability and pricing, weather, thieves and safety practices. Learn more here
Industry News
Canada allows the electronic delivery of surety bonds, which is a valuable option during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the head of the Canadian surety trade group. The electronic bonding process must provide integrity of content and secure access to documents, which must be verifiable and enforceable.
Full Story: Canadian Underwriter online (3/26) 
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CARES Act provides $350B for small-business loan program
The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act includes $350 billion for a small-business loan program. Small businesses, certain nonprofits, veterans' organizations and tribal businesses can qualify for no-recourse loans capped at 4% interest rates to help meet payroll, pay rent and cover other qualifying expenses.
Full Story: Whiteford Taylor Preston LLP (3/27) 
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Risk & Compliance
Project shutdowns during the coronavirus pandemic differ from closures in other disasters because of the indefinite timeline. Experts review the basic steps required, beginning with securing sites for safety and other reasons.
Full Story: Construction Dive (3/27) 
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Association News
NASBP Blog: A contractor's guide for protection during the coronavirus pandemic
NASBP Blog: A contractor's guide for protection during the coronavirus pandemic
Kelman, left, and Turchick (NASBP)
The coronavirus pandemic is causing volatility in the economy and altering many facets of life, including the construction industry. Lane Kelman and Robert Turchick of Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman discuss ways that contractors can protect themselves in these uncertain times. Reviewing insurance policies, keeping an eye on restrictions and following health guidelines are a few of several they describe. Read more.
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NASBP publishes new resources for NASBP members, their clients addressing coronavirus pandemic
NASBP publishes new resources for NASBP members, their clients addressing coronavirus pandemic
With each day our lives and businesses as well as our clients' are being impacted by the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19. NASBP knows the concerns you have about your business, your clients and our industry. To help you and your clients address these unforeseen challenges presented by the coronavirus, NASBP has recently compiled timely, easily accessible, solution-focused resources and will continue to do so. These on-point resources include new NASBP blogs, NASBP Virtual Seminars, NASBP podcasts and the NASBP SmartBrief e-newsletter. Access these and more at the NASBP Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources and Information webpage.
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April 7 NASBP Virtual Seminar: Surety professionals can help clients find stability in time of crisis
April 7 NASBP Virtual Seminar: Surety professionals can help clients find stability in time of crisis
Callahan, left, and Lewis (NASBP)
Join us at 2 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, April 7, for the NASBP Virtual Seminar "Contractors Guide: What You Should Know As You Manage Through the COVID-19 Environment," presented by Jack Callahan and Cristi Lewis of the CPA firm CohnReznick. Some state construction sites have shut down, while others are either enacting or considering issuing other types of stoppages for large-scale sites due to the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. To survive and reposition, contractors have many considerations including newly enacted government programs, cash position, wind down strategies, labor management, external commitments, site security and contracts. Callahan and Lewis will discuss how surety professionals can help their construction clients strategize and take action to cope with the current climate. This Virtual Seminar is sponsored by Old Republic Surety. Register. For more information, listen to the free NASBP podcast with Callahan, titled "Steps for Contractors to Take Now and Rundown of Federal Relief Programs To Date due to COVID-19."
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Trends & Technology
Software makers for the construction industry are offering new ways to take advantage of existing products and rolling out new ones as the industry adjusts to the coronavirus pandemic and the need to work remotely. Meanwhile, architecture, engineering and construction firms are receptive to ways of functioning in a new reality that may bring about longer-term benefits.
Full Story: Construction Dive (3/25) 
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Founded in 1942, NASBP is the association of and resource for surety bond producers and allied professionals. NASBP producers specialize in providing surety bonds for construction contracts and other purposes to companies and individuals needing the assurance offered by surety bonds.

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