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Obama or Romney? Contractors express their views

BY Brae Canlen

A survey of licensed contractors by BuildZoom, a matchmaking service for consumers and contractors, indicated a preference for presidential candidate Mitt Romney by a wide margin. 

When asked who would make a better president, nearly 75% of respondents named Mitt Romney over Barack Obama as their choice. Their reason was based, primarily, on the economy, including job creation, taxation, the budget deficit and general economic growth

Respondents were asked to justify their response, and a closer analysis of their responses revealed two major themes amongst Romney supporters, according to BuildZoom. First, contractors generally felt that Romney had more business experience, which would translate into better results for the U.S. economy. Second, contractors were driven by general dissatisfaction with Obama.

Of the 26% who chose Obama over Romney, these contractors pointed to Obama’s character while also expressing their belief in Obama’s empathy for the middle class. Several respondents also expressed concern with Romney’s “Wall Street” background.

The survey represents feedback from 237 licensed contractors, registered on BuildZoom. Almost half (49%) stated that their party affiliation was Republican. Of the remainder, 12% were Democrats, 33% were Independents, 5% listed Tea Party, and 1% said they were Libertarians.

Contractors were also asked to evaluate how the Recovery Act has benefited the construction industry. Nearly half (47%) reported that the Recovery Act hasn’t helped at all, while 33% responded that it has helped "a little."

A majority of contractors (77%) reported that they had not been provided with enough information on how to take advantage of Recovery Act opportunities. The general sentiment seemed to be that the Recovery Act primarily helped larger businesses. According to one respondent, “I need more information about how it can help a small construction business. I know it has helped put laborers back to work for the big prime contractors and mid-size contractors.”

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g.kittel says:
Oct-09-2012 09:16 pm

Easy to say recovery act
Easy to say recovery act hasn't helped but alot of homes were sold because of the Homebuyer Tax credit in 08, 09 and 2010 and that benefited all in the industry, my guess is things would have been worse without it, shouldn't forget that.

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3M realigns business structure

BY HBSDealer Staff

3M has announced a realignment of its major business groups to better serve global markets and customers, effective immediately.

The new structure will be comprised of five business groups: Consumer (2011 sales of $4.2 billion), Industrial ($9.6 billion), Health Care ($5.0 billion) and two newly formed business groups: Safety & Graphics ($5.5 billion), and Electronics & Energy ($5.7 billion). Previously, the company operated six segments. 

“The change is a natural outcome of our strategy to increase relevance to our customers and to broaden our presence in the markets we serve,” said Inge Thulin, 3M chairman, president and CEO. “By building scale more broadly, we create critical mass in each business group to take full advantage of innovation and commercialization opportunities.”

The company also announced new leadership roles for many of its senior leaders. 

Segment reporting for the new organization is effective Jan. 1, 2013.

Electronics & Energy will now be led by executive VP Mike Kelly, former head of 3M’s Display and Graphics business. The new business group includes the following operating divisions:

• 3M Touch Systems
• Communication Markets
  Electrical Markets
• Electronic Solutions
• Electronics Markets Materials
• Infrastructure Protection
• Mobile Interactive Solutions
• Optical Systems
• Renewable Energy

Safety & Graphics will now be led by executive VP Julie Bushman, former head of 3M’s Safety, Security and Protection Services business. The new business group includes the following operating divisions:

• Architectural Markets
• Building & Commercial Services
• Commercial Graphics
• Industrial Mineral Products
• Mining, Oil & Gas Solutions
• Occupational Health & Environmental Safety
• Security Systems
• Traffic Safety Systems

Industrial, led by executive VP Brad Sauer, remains unchanged, with the exception of Renewable Energy moving to Electronics & Energy. Sauer formerly led 3M’s Health Care business.

Health Care, led by executive VP Joaquin Delgado, is unchanged. Delgado formerly led 3M’s Electro and Communications business.

Consumer is also unchanged and will continue to be led by executive VP Mike Vale.

Chris Holmes has been named senior VP corporate supply chain operations, succeeding John Woodworth, who announced his intention to retire. Holmes was formerly executive VP of Industrial and Transportation business.

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CoreLogic: Home prices trending up

BY Brae Canlen

An analysis of home prices released by CoreLogic, a provider of information, analytics and business services, reported a 4.6% rise in home prices nationwide in August 2012. This change represents the biggest year-over-year increase since July 2006. On a month-over-month basis, including distressed sales, home prices increased by 0.3% in August 2012 compared to July 2012.

The August 2012 figures mark the sixth consecutive increase in home prices nationally on both a year-over-year and month-over-month basis. The Home Price Index (HPI) analysis from CoreLogic shows that all but six states are experiencing price gains.

Excluding distressed sales, home prices nationwide increased on a year-over-year basis by 4.9% in August 2012 compared with August 2011. On a month-over-month basis excluding distressed sales, home prices increased 1% in August 2012 compared with July 2012, also the sixth consecutive month-over-month increase. Distressed sales include short sales and real estate owned (REO) transactions.

CoreLogic predicts that September 2012 home prices, including distressed sales, will rise by 5% on a year-over-year basis from September 2011 and fall by 0.3% on a month-over-month basis from August 2012 as the summer buying season closes out. Excluding distressed sales, September 2012 house prices are expected to rise 6.3% year-over-year from September 2011 and by 0.6% month-over-month from August 2012.

"Again this month prices rose on a year-over-year basis, and our expectation is for that to continue in September based on our pending HPI forecast," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. "The housing markets gains are increasingly geographically diverse with only six states continuing to show declining prices."

"Sustained economic recovery in the U.S. requires a healthy housing market. You cannot have a healthy housing market without price stabilization and ultimately home price appreciation," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "Improving pricing trends over the past few months, and our forecast for continued gains in September bode well for a progressive rebound in the residential housing market."

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