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Report: Contractors Eager for Business Growth Despite Unique Industry Cash-Flow Challenges

Billd, a provider of financing for commercial subcontractors, has released its inaugural industry report, “2021 National Subcontractor Market Report: Business Growth & Financing.” While the survey found that construction contractors have maintained an optimistic entrepreneurial spirit despite the obstacles of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic challenges like skyrocketing building material prices, the data also suggest that ongoing cash-flow problems will likely prevent many from achieving their business-growth goals in 2021 and beyond.


The new report surveyed 572 general contractors and subcontractors in commercial construction, many of whom are business owners or executives who have been in business for at least 10 years, about their appetite for business growth and how they plan to finance that growth. The responses call attention to persistent construction industry challenges that prevent business growth, including a lack of access to capital, inconsistent payment cycles and the insufficient length of supplier terms.


Nearly three-fourths of contractors surveyed say they plan to grow their businesses in 2021. However, the data also found that

  • 44% believe they’ll use cash on hand to finance these goals, but 46% say they struggle with cash flow issues.
  • While about half of contractors say they’re generally satisfied with their supplier terms for financing construction materials, 63% have to pay for materials before getting paid for their work.
  • Fewer than 4% have supplier terms longer than 60 days, while it generally takes between 60 and 90 days for contractors to get paid.
  • Most reported feeling satisfied with their credit options, but 30% of contractors find it challenging to obtain new sources of financing.
  • 39% expect access to capital to have a significant impact on their businesses in 2021.

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