Construction costs see first decline in a decade | Report: Some construction sectors see net growth in proposal activity | Attorney: Defense Dept. contractors, subs should prepare for cybersecurity certification requirements
July 22, 2020
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Leading News
The cost of commercial construction fell about 1% in the second quarter, according to a quarterly index. The decline, which was the first quarterly drop in a decade, is attributed to tougher competition among contractors in the uncertain economic environment caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Full Story: Construction Dive (7/20) 
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An index shows that proposals submitted to architecture, engineering and construction firms fell to minus 22% in the second quarter, but some sectors of construction experienced net growth. The water and wastewater sector was the highest, at 20%, followed by energy and utilities, health care, and housing.
Full Story: Construction Dive (7/15) 
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Continuity Planning: Situations & Lessons From the Field
A business continuity plan can help to ensure a smooth transition when a company changes hands. This is especially the case if an owner dies suddenly. A formal plan gives the company's family, employees, and customersā€¦ and the surety, assurances that the company will be able to stay in business. Read Moreā€¦
Industry News
Attorney: Defense Dept. contractors, subs should prepare for cybersecurity certification requirements
(AFP/Getty Images)
Contractors and subcontractors working for any federal agency should examine whether to comply with the Defense Department's Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, even if they are currently not working on any projects for the Pentagon, an attorney writes. A recent General Services Administration request for proposals reserved "the right to require CMMC Level 1 certification as mandatory" for an IT contract, the attorney writes.
Full Story: Smith Currie (7/14) 
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A False Claims Act lawsuit accusing two contractors of fraudulently securing work under Small Business Administration rules is proceeding in federal court after mediation was unsuccessful. Whistleblower Andrew Scollick's lawsuit names the contractors' sureties and a surety bond producer among the defendants.
Full Story: Engineering News-Record (tiered subscription model) (7/17) 
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Risk & Compliance
Contractors must adhere to state mechanic's lien requirements when pursuing payment and ensure that their lien rights are preserved prior to any arbitration efforts, two attorneys write. Understanding the relevant state laws is crucial, along with filing and recording liens on time, the attorneys write.
Full Story: JD Supra/Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath (7/16) 
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Association News
NASBP Blog: New NASBP Producer Communications Toolkit 2.0
NASBP Blog: New NASBP Producer Communications Toolkit 2.0
It's more important than ever to talk about the benefits of surety bonds! With the NASBP Producer Communications Toolkit 2.0, you have many new NASBP resources to share with stakeholders that describe the value of the surety product. This NASBP Blog outlines the new features in the Toolkit, including an elevator speech, talking points tailored to each stakeholder, social media graphic images with text, and resources to which you can link. The Resource Chart is packed full of NASBP documents, articles and videos NASBP members can share with owners, lenders, architects and contractors. Check out the Be Guaranteed To Succeed Toolkit here by going to the pull-down menu under "Resources." Read more. If you missed the unveiling of the Toolkit during today's NASBP Virtual Event, Being Present and Connecting Surety in a Virtual World, check out the recording in a week from now.
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July 28 NASBP Virtual Seminar -- Getting the Band Back Together
July 28 NASBP Virtual Seminar -- Getting the Band Back Together
Clockwise from top left: Jean, Pulver, Shaw and Ruesch (NASBP)
Don't miss the next NASBP Virtual Seminar! Join us at at 2 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, July 28, for Getting the Band Back Together: Communication Among Your Contractors' Team of Advisors to Assist with Current Challenges, featuring a panel of presenters who will discuss how to cope with some of the current and future challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The panel includes: David Jean of Albin, Randall & Bennett, CPAs; Ralph Pulver of Travelers; Rob Ruesch of Verrill Law; and NASBP Past President Bob Shaw of Skillings Shaw & Associates. They will address best financial, legal and surety practices during these uncertain times and will discuss the importance of proactively reaching out to a contractor client to provide him or her with the best tools and resources available to help them succeed. Register for this standalone NASBP Virtual Seminar or register for the NASBP 2020 Virtual Seminar Annual Subscription, the entire set of Virtual Seminars for 2020, and save! This Virtual Seminar is sponsored by Old Republic Surety. Register.
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Don't stop learning over the summer! Take NASBP's online fundamentals courses on contract surety and commercial surety
Don't stop learning over the summer! Take NASBP's online fundamentals courses on contract surety and commercial surety
NASBP's online courses Contract Surety Fundamentals and Commercial Surety Fundamentals provide comprehensive introductions to contract surety and commercial surety, respectively. Both courses are written by leading surety professionals and industry experts and provide the fundamental principles surety professionals must know on these topics. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam have assigned continuing education credits for both courses. Register for these courses at the NASBP WebCE Online Course page. For more information, visit NASBP's website. These courses can be a great starting point for a new hire.
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Trends & Technology
The commercial construction market will likely see the biggest decline among nonresidential sectors this year and in 2021 amid a struggling economy, according to a forecast. The industrial and institutional markets are expected to see a less severe impact.
Full Story: Architectural Record magazine (7/2020) 
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Opinion Poll
Is the Paycheck Protection Program creating challenges in examining contractors' finances?
Yes, in many cases
Yes, somewhat
Not sure
How long is the decline in nonresidential construction spending likely to last?
VoteOne to three months
VoteThree to six months
VoteSix months to a year
VoteA year or longer
The cost is high, but the blessing of being compassionate is beyond your wildest dreams.
Anne Lamott,
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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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Phone: 240-200-1270
Fax: 240-200-1295
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