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Minority, women contractors cite bonding as major problem.

A survey of 150 small minority-owned, women-owned and other small construction contractors in New York and New Jersey found the three major problems such contractors face are obtaining bonding, planning company growth, and business planning.

Seventy-seven per cent said bonding was a major problem, while 76 percent cited planning growth and 73 percent business planning as trouble spots, according to the survey by The Regional Alliance for Small Contractors, a partnership of major construction firms and public agencies in the New York/New Jersey region.

In contrast, the smallest percentage, 39 percent, found understanding bid packages and reviewing bids to be problem areas.

Controlling costs and change orders were cited as the top problems among post-award items, cited by 62 percent and 55 percent of the contractors polled by The Regional Alliance, which was formed to help minority, women and other small contractors compete more effectively for public works contracts.

The 81 New York firms and 69 New Jersey firms surveyed are participants in "Managing Growth" classes sponsored by The Regional Alliance which offer training in such areas as bidding strategies, project planning and financial management.

In addition, 143 of the 150 contractors surveyed said they would welcome free advice from experts in the industry if it were available.

"One of the ironies in the survey was that while 143 of the 150 contractors said they would five of these firms actually used the free consulting services from top executives in construction firms and public agencies available through our LEAP (Loaned Executive Assistance) program," said Timothy Sheehan, executive director of The Regional Alliance for Small Contractors.

Sheehan added, "The survey was invaluable in helping us understand the concrete, nuts-and-bolts assistance small contractors need to expand and succeed in today's competitive market."
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Apr 8, 1992
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