Through the quiet neighborhoods, the steady sound of a hammer, the high-pitched zinc of a circular saw and laughter on a construction site.
For a long time, it seemed unfair that the construction industry continued to assert itself as “essential” when so many other businesses have suffered shutdowns. The work trucks possessed the deserted streets and the silence of our towns seemed deafening.
One of my favorite things about our community is that in times of crisis we find creative ways to support each other. I am proud to be a humble piece of an industry that has continued to thrive and meet the needs of our local regions and beyond. Every element of the construction industry has adapted to support local businesses first and has fought to remain open to doing so.
We haven’t seen such a demand in decades, and it comes at the strangest of times. We are facing peaks in lumber prices, new regulations and new fees. Construction costs have hit all-time highs as available lots hit all-time lows. Affordable housing is a permanent obstacle and the new regulations imply interesting adaptations that slow down productivity. Yet despite everything most of us don’t know, dollars spent in industry are being reinvested in local businesses. The good news? More construction means more support in all directions.
With families moving here, our schools can apply for more funding. New jobs can be created and companies can update their operating methods to adapt to the times. Those of us stuck inside our homes find new inspiration to change what we watch, which again means supporting local businesses. There are no short answers or perfect plans, and we will always see losses. In these times we are looking at what is still working and trying to build from that, and right now the building is working.
Doing business with a member is at the heart of the Home Builders Association of Southwest Colorado’s mission to consistently elevate our economy together. It is generally more affordable to hire locally as our local professionals have worked their entire careers to build lasting and meaningful relationships with – you get it – local suppliers and suppliers. If there’s a blockage in the work pipeline somewhere, there’s a good chance your local professional is the one on the phone to resolve it locally. It’s all the little things we don’t see that make up the biggest part of the end result, and hard work and integrity abound in this industry.
Professionals join organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, Business Improvement District, Local First, and the Home Builders Association because they know there is a vast support system inside, but more importantly, they want to do part of that support system for the community in which they live. in. They want to support programs that raise our young people and give them real jobs, grants for start-ups, research and development, and the list goes on. We unite behind these nonprofits and businesses because they do the work our hearts want to do, but our hands may not be available to all who choose to call our community home.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank the many people who make this work possible. The men and women who have been doing this for years and those who are just starting out. People who choose to offer their financial support to find the solutions and who have the courage to stand up in the face of uncertainty and keep going.
I hear the sound of a hammer as I pass a construction site and I say to myself: with each blow of the hammer, new neighbors meet. Families are winning a new wall to mark the growth of their children. This hammer will bring more talent to the job pool and more business opportunities to grow our community. With each worker employed, dollars are transferred from the job site to a local grocery store where a baker, butcher, farmer and craftsman sell their products. And so the story goes.
Rebekah DeLaMare is a senior executive with the Home Builders Association of Southwest Colorado. She can be reached at (970) 382-0082 or [email protected]