A BENDIGO builder says his business is managing through the COVID-19 pandemic despite strong restrictions.
Todd Newman Builders director Todd Newman said there was more certainty for his business after the government allowed the construction industry to remain open during the lockdown.
"There was a real unknown for two or three weeks there where we weren't sure if we should start a slab," he said.
"We were just trying to get jobs done to get to a progress payment stage because we were nervous that the industry would have to stop.
"But we've had exceptional contact from Master Builders and the HIA. They're really pushing hard for the industry."
A national survey from Master Builders Australia found nearly three-quarters of respondents had lost 40 per cent of their business because of the pandemic.
Mr Newman said while some of his clients have chosen to postpone works on their new homes, his business was managing for the most part.
"There is a long four to six month journey in the lead up to starting a house," he said.
"Some of our retired customers are at a stage where we need them to see a colour consultant or go to Reece or something like that.
"What they have said to us is keep holding the deposit, but right at the moment we don't want to go out into the community.
"They're nervous to go out because they are at a high risk, which we understand."
But Mr Newman said while his business was coping, he was concerned some smaller self-employed builders may be struggling in these challenging times.
"For those smaller builders who have less jobs to start with, if they have builds fall over it can be really detrimental to them," he said.
"The might have six to start with and then three fall over, so suddenly 50 per cent of their work is gone. For higher volume builders like ourselves, it's not as big of a challenge."
Mr Newman said there were still about 15 direct employees and more than 100 contractors and suppliers working on his building sites around the Bendigo region.
But he said the business was ensuring tradesmen and contractors were employing social distancing practices and good hygiene.
"We're pretty tough as tradies," he said. "You get a little bit of a 'we'll be right attitude'.
"But what we're saying is that it's not a time to be tough, it's a time to be compliant."
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