How contractors are responding to the COVID-19 crisis

The growing COVID-19 crisis has roiled the U.S. construction industry from coast to coast, with contractors large and small mired in uncertainty and wondering what their next steps should be.
The sense of upheaval comes from many arenas: how to keep employees safe, whether local jurisdictions will shut down jobsites, potential supply chain delays and government actions to respond to the crisis, including a $100 billion federal government relief package signed into law last night by President Trump.
From small specialty firms​ to Sandy, Utah-based Layton Construction to multinational construction giants like Fluor, Skanska and Bechtel, company leaders told Construction Dive they are working to stay on top of the rapidly changing situation in order to ensure that employees are safe and clients are satisfied.
“We’re constantly updating and revising our response and our plans as circumstances change,” a Layton spokesperson said. 
Contractors and subs in affected areas are watching developments to see how they will affect current and future projects as well as business operations. Owners of construction businesses of all sizes are worried about how the federal legislation, called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, will impact their bottom line.
A provision in the legislation mandates employer-paid leave for the next 12 weeks to workers caring for a child whose school or day care has been shut and applies to companies with 500 or fewer employees; these businesses would be reimbursed for the paid leave costs via quarterly tax credits.
Large multinational contractors have been impacted on a global scale and are dealing with business operations that are changing quickly on different continents, as the outbreak has affected other countries including the U.K., Italy and China.
“Our colleagues work in different environments across the world, in office buildings and project sites, and no one-size-fits-all solution will ensure everyone’s safety,” said a Bechtel spokesperson.”This is a rapidly changing global challenge, and we are working with our customers to carefully monitor our projects for any potential impacts.”
In addition, Sweden-based Skanska has implemented a ban on international business travel across its entire global workforce of 35,000 employees and Australian-based contractor Lendlease has canceled all nonessential business travel.  
Boston stoppage
The most impacted contractors in the U.S. right now are those doing business in Boston, which announced a shutdown of all but essential construction work earlier this week. From large contractors like Boston-based Suffolk Construction to small subs and suppliers, the shutdown has brought the city’s jobs to a halt in the middle of a major development boom.