The Ontario construction industry has taken a significant blow financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Around 73 percent of firms in a recent survey expect less revenue in 2020 than last year and, on average, annual revenue is expected to decline by 26 per cent.
And 17 per cent of contractors doubt that they will be able to survive over the long-term and nine percent of firms are considering mergers/acquisitions to stay alive, reported the Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS) following an independent survey of 203 industrial, commercial, and institutional contractors from across Ontario conducted May 11-15.
Thirty-five percent of contractors expect it to take at least six months to get back to business-as-usual and nine percent don’t believe they will ever get there, according to the survey, titled Coronavirus Contractors Survey 2: Restart and Recovery.
The most prominent concerns include the impact of physical distancing, availability of work, and the need for a quick rollout of government infrastructure spending.
On average, contractors expect personal protective equipment and physical distancing requirements to increase project costs by 28 to 39 per cent. They also expect physical distancing to have a major impact on project completion times.
Supply chain disruptions persist with more than six in ten contractors reporting the coronavirus pandemic is causing medium to high impact, leaving 62 per cent of contractors planning to source more material locally or domestically.
The survey shows that ensuring the health and safety of workers remains a top concern of contractors. More than 30 per cent believe it will be highly difficult or impossible to ensure work sites are adequately sanitized and 83 per cent of contractors expect worksite sanitation practices will change permanently.