Falling Revenue Overshadows Most Commercial Contractors

by George Waldon  on Monday, Jun. 28, 2010 12:00 am  

"We feel like things are starting to stabilize," said Cody Crawford, president of the firm. "It's obviously been a declining couple of years. We've reached the bottom. This is probably going to be the new norm. Contractors who are able to survive these conditions will be able to succeed."

Bob Shell, CEO of Baldwin & Shell, said 2010 was shaping up to be a stellar year for the firm, with revenues expected to top $175 million.

While business has been good for his company, he acknowledged the overall market was much softer. Shell said the pace could pick up in the fall based on his conversations with architects and engineers.

"It's really slow, and people are really hurting," he said. "A lot of the subcontractors are really struggling."

However, compared to reports from other parts of the country, Arkansas is more than holding its own.

"I've attended national meetings of the Associated General Contractors," Shell said. "People from other states are so much worse off than we are. They're saying there is no work, with failures and bankruptcies everywhere."


Absences and More

Slumps in business and worse prompted three leading commercial contractors to exit the list.

Among those were two Little Rock firms, which declined to provide 2009 revenue figures and updated information for this year's list: May Construction Co. and MDH Builders Inc.

Lewis May, president of May Construction, is scheduled to stand trial Oct. 20-21 on charges of intent to defraud in Virginia's Stafford County Circuit Court.

"I'll be glad when all of this is over, so I can get on with my life," May said.



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