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March 21, 2005

CCA CONFERENCE COVERAGE

Guide will help smaller construction firms

CANCUN, Mexico

A task force of the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) has drafted a guide that is intended to improve the working relationship between the banking community and the construction industry.

Produced by a sub-committee of the association’s finance committee, the 26-page document attempts to debunk some of the myths about both industries and more clearly articulate the expectations of both groups.

“This will help banks better understand contractors’ needs,” said retiring association chair Shirley Westeinde of Ottawa.

Shirley Westeinde

Copies of a discussion draft were distributed here at the CCA’s 87th annual conference.

The guide primarily targets small- to medium-sized construction firms who do not have the resources to employ in-house expertise in the financial management area.

“The objective is not to make all construction firms bankable or to suggest the lowering of current standards but to make small- to medium-sized construction firms much more knowledgeable about the expectations and requirements of the banking community and more business-like in their dealings with banks,” the CCA said in a forward.

“It also seeks to improve general construction industry financial management.”

In addition, the bank targets local banking personnel. It hopes to create among the banking community a better general understanding of the construction industry and the particular banking needs of construction firms.

In drafting the document, the task force drew on the expertise of individuals in the construction, banking and bonding industries.

The guide includes profiles of both the construction and banking industries, data on debt financing, a glossary of accounting/credit/banking terms and even some do’s and don’ts on how to successfully deal with bankers.

“It is the hope of the authors that this guide will form the basis for local seminars and conferences devoted to improving knowledge and understanding between the construction industry and the banking community.”

The CCA’s construction banking task force will seek endorsement for the guide at the association’s spring board meeting in Victoria in early June.

— Patricia Williams

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