On a Positive Note...
By Tom Daniel
The MCAA has just concluded another successful annual convention at the World of Masonry Show. The overall attendance level was surprisingly very good, considering all of the “Doom and Gloom” that is portrayed in the media.
Most of the contractors I spoke with were of the same opinion. All had backlog on their books but were having trouble selling new work. They said there is plenty of new work to bid. The problem is that the same projects are being bid several times, because owners try to get the lowest possible price. Some projects are permitted and ready to start, but do not. Why? The main reason is that the banks are putting a strangle hold on lending. Any first round TARP money they received is still in their coffers. They are holding on to the money to maintain their balance sheets. This is what happens when the government throws our tax money at a problem.
Our legislators should think it through and put covenants in place that assure the money is put to good use. When they don’t, we have a situation quite similar to what we have now, and the vicious cycle starts. With reduced volume, companies cut overhead and people loose their jobs. The job losses mean less consumer buying. Fewer consumer purchases mean reduced sales for retail, car purchases, travel, etc., and so the downward cycle begins. What do we do as mason contractors?
We remain as positive as we can. We do the best we can to keep our overhead and costs in line, and we do everything we can to support our community, employees and industry.
This is why it was so important for all of us to attend the MCAA Annual Convention. I always take away a feeling of well being after participating in meetings with my fellow contractors. Our seminars, committee meetings, trowel contests and social events are the perfect solution to maintain your business edge. As an MCAA member, I have an association behind me that supports me when I need help with information for my business. When I need feedback on an issue, I can pickup the phone and call a fellow contractor for advice.
Our country is strong and our economy will rebound. As one of my mentors once told me, “Time heals all wounds.”
About the Author
Tom Daniel, owner of GBC Concrete and Masonry Construction, Inc. in Lake Elsinore, Calif., has worked in the masonry industry since the 1980s. During that time, he has volunteered countless hours for the masonry industry locally in California and on the national scale. Daniel spent eight years on the MCAA Executive Board, including two years as President from 2008-2010 and was the recipient of the 2011 C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award.