Roofing customers are increasingly interested in green roofs, recycled materials and other environmentally friendly options, but these often have high initial costs and other drawbacks, writes Josh White, president of Hoosier Contractors in Indianapolis. "It's imperative for contractors who install eco-friendly roof systems and the customers who ask for them to discuss and contemplate the pros and cons of this method of roofing," White writes.
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Online portals make it easy for roofing contractors to accept payment from customers, but they need to be secure to protect customer data, writes Trent Cotney of Cotney Attorneys & Consultants. Cotney recommends emphasizing security with vendors and IT departments, using multifactor authentication and incorporating malware-blocking software.
Calgary, Alberta, is offering $3,000 rebates to property owners so they can replace hail-damaged roofs with hail-resistant ones. The city received over 500 applications in the first month of the program.
The construction industry has been resilient and is on a path to normalcy as the US economy continues to rebound, according to Anirban Basu, chief economist at Associated Builders and Contractors. However, the industry still faces challenges, including supply chain issues and labor shortages.
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Workers at Portland International Airport in Oregon are building a massive undulating roof using 3.3 million board feet of Douglas fir that will be installed early next year. "You don't get a roof like that without touching every single part of that building," architect Sharron van der Meulen says.
Solar Power World has released its 2021 lists of the top solar contractors and top solar rooftop contractors. "Not even COVID-19 closures and slowdowns could prevent the solar industry from installing fantastic numbers last year," said Kelly Pickerel, Solar Power World's editor-in-chief.
Small businesses that own their locations have cost certainty, refinancing options and tax deductions that aren't available when leasing, writes Anthony Ryan, a small-business lending executive. "You may even be able to lease out space in your building," Ryan notes.
Small-business mentor Dennis Zink shares 23 tips for success, including knowing when to take a loss and finding the important metrics. "Be particular where you go, and network with a purpose," writes Zink, who also addresses hiring, goal-setting and market research.
Small Business Administration loans have many benefits for small-business owners, such as favorable lending terms, writes Robert Blaney, director of the SBA's Arizona District Office. Business owners can shop around for the best deals, and they many find it helpful to consult with one of the SBA's business advisers first, Blaney writes.
This guide to the work opportunity tax credit for employers explains which workers are eligible, how to calculate and claim the credit, and its limitations. IRS Form 8850 defines qualified employees, who include some youth, military veterans and government aid recipients.