Through the quiet neighborhoods came the steady sound of a hammer, the sharp zing of a circular saw and laughter on a jobsite.
For a long time, it seemed unfair that the building industry pushed steadily on as “essential” while so many other businesses sustained closures. Work trucks owned the empty 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 support the needs of our local areas and beyond. Every element of the building industry has adapted to support local businesses first and fought to remain open to do so.
We haven’t seen a demand like this in decades, and it comes at the strangest of times. We’re facing peaking lumber prices, new regulations and fees. The cost to build has hit all-time highs where the available lots are hitting all-time lows. Affordable housing is an ongoing obstacle and new regulations mean interesting adaptations that slow productivity. Yet through all the things most of us are unaware of, the dollars spent in the industry are being put back into local businesses. The good news? More building means more support in every direction.
With families relocating here, our schools can seek more funding. New jobs can be created, and businesses can refresh their operating styles to adapt to the times. Those of us stuck inside our homes at great length are finding new inspirations to change what we’ve been looking at, which again means supporting local business. There are no short answers or perfect plans, and we’ll still see losses. In these times, we look to what is still working and try to build off that, and right now, building is working.
Doing business with a member is at the core of the Home Builders Association of Southwest Colorado’s mission to constantly elevate our economy together. It is usually more affordable to hire locally because our local professionals have worked their entire career building lasting and meaningful relationships with – you got it – local providers and suppliers. If there is a blockage in the working pipeline somewhere, chances are your local pro is the one on the phone clearing it up locally. It’s all the little things we don’t see that are the biggest portion of the end result, and there is no shortage of hard work and integrity 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 within, but more importantly, they want to be a part of that support system for the community they live in. They want to support programs that elevate our youth, and get them real jobs, grants for start-up businesses, research and development, and the list goes on. We join together behind these nonprofits and trade organizations because they do the work our hearts want to do but our hands may not be available for 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 done this for years and those who are just starting. The 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 carry on.
I hear the sound of a hammer as I pass by a construction site and I think to myself: With every swing of that hammer, new neighbors are brought together. Families gain a new wall to mark the growth of their kids. That hammer will bring more talent to the job pool and more business opportunities to regrow our community. With every employed laborer, dollars move from the jobsite to a local grocery store where a local baker, butcher, farmer and artisan sell their wares. And so the story goes.
Rebekah DeLaMare is executive officer of the Home Builders Association of Southwest Colorado. She can be reached at (970) 382-0082 or firstname.lastname@example.org.