COVID-19 has slowed payments for GCs and subs, report finds

Dive Temporary:

  • Just one particular development enterprise in 10 normally receives compensated in full, a 75% fall from ahead of the pandemic, in accordance to the 2021 Construction Cash Flow & Payment Report. Payment delays have also worsened: Just 9% of organizations normally get paid out on time, a decrease of 60% from previous yr. 
  • The report from construction software package agency Levelset located that some of the fiscal chance correlates immediately to the building payment chain. Basic contractors are four moments more possible than subcontractors to get compensated inside of 30 days, and 50% much more very likely to get compensated in complete. Just one in five subcontractors, suppliers and other sub-tier parties on a regular basis wait past 60 times to accumulate payment. 
  • The hole widens even more when it will come to accumulating retainage, which 61% of all corporations say is “really vital” or “the most crucial component” for money movement. Fifty-6 % of subcontractors wait extra than 60 times to accumulate retained resources, compared to just 16% of standard contractors. 

Dive Perception:

The research observed that payment speed also correlates strongly to task kind. Household design organizations are a few times additional possible to obtain payment inside 30 days than these on professional projects, and 5 times far more probable than these on public assignments. And though only one particular in 5 homebuilders (17%) say they generally get paid on time, they vastly outperform these on authorities initiatives (7%) and commercial work opportunities (4%).



“The pandemic drove economical uncertainty via the roof and set an more kink in the stream of hard cash on projects across the place, ” mentioned Scott Wolfe Jr., CEO of Levelset. “Payment delays throttle a company’s capability to be competitive, take on new jobs, and grow their business.” 

Just after 40 days, just one in five building businesses is dollars stream adverse, owning previously compensated their subcontractors, suppliers, and other distributors — but nonetheless waiting for payment. Forty-7 per cent of businesses say payment delays reduce their financial gain, and one in 3 change to financial loans or other financing to bridge the hard cash flow hole, introducing desire and other costs. 



To mitigate probable payment challenges or to gather payment, contractors report an increase in preliminary notices and mechanics liens. Just around fifty percent of firms (51%) send out a preliminary see on a usual challenge, up from just 29% in 2020. Lien claims are on the rise as very well, with 71% of design enterprises filing a lien more than non-payment in 2020, a 22% increase from 2019. 

Development firms also report investing in other answers to support speed up payment. Some of the conclusions consist of:

  • 83% of development firms have the potential to take electronic payments and 79% say it has assisted their firm get paid out more rapidly. 
  • Corporations using software package for monitoring and processing payments grew 113% calendar year-in excess of-year.
  • Program for payment paperwork is up 67% considering the fact that 2019. 
  • Just 8% of construction corporations say they do not use software package at all — down from 21% in 2019.