covid19

Looking Forward to 2021

By Hank Kita, STA Executive Director

Needless to say, we will all be looking forward to the end of 2020 and the dawning of 2021!

In a year defined by the COVID 19 pandemic, most people have seen their personal and business worlds turned upside down by the virus.

Our New York City construction industry has seen numerous disruptions brought about by the virus.  All but a few construction projects were paused by the Governor in the Spring.  In early June, many of those public and private projects were allowed to resume but with numerous restrictions and regulations related to the COVID 19.  Financial considerations put many previously approved and scheduled projects on hold. It is only recently that we have begun to see some of those projects come back on line.  In the meantime, architects and engineers report that they are not being called upon by private and public owners to design new projects.  This obviously does not bode well for new construction projects once contractors have exhausted their current backlog.

While the outlook for the construction business in 2021 is somewhat muddled, there are a few positive signs on the horizon for contractors.  Governor Cuomo has promised a robust state capital spending program for 2021 and beyond.  One hopes that the Congress and new Biden administration cooperate in the creation of a long overdue national infrastructure program and provide continuing small business assistance to contractors.  Progress on the distribution and administration of a vaccine to a majority of the population will allow businesses to reopen and provide a much needed boost to the economy, which can only help our construction industry.

Regardless of the situation, the STA will continue in 2021 to fight at City Hall, in Albany, and in Washington for our contractors.  We will continue to pursue an aggressive legislative agenda, the type which resulted in the passage and signing of new “substantial completion” legislation in Albany (see this month’s Legal Log).  We will be developing a new legislative agenda in January and will look for our member’s input on issues that we should be addressing at the federal, state, and local level.  An STA committee is currently working on the ongoing problem of contractors receiving short shrift, especially from public agencies, where the change order process is concerned.  Look for an action plan forthcoming from the STA on this issue in the coming months.  In the meantime, look for the STA to ramp up our educational seminar series and member bulletins in 2021 to keep you better informed.

I would like to thank the STA’s Board of Directors and our general membership for your support during this very difficult 2020.  Working together, I am sure that we will make a difference make in ensuring that  2021 is a better year for our members and the New York City construction industry.