NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Bahamian Contractors Association (BCA) president yesterday warned of a ‘significant fall-out’ in the local construction sector if Cavalier Construction shuts down permanently.
BCA president Michael Pratt underscored challenges faced by local contractors from foreign rivals during an interview with Eyewitness News.
His comments came after it was revealed that Cavalier’s sister company Bobcat Bahamas had made 54 employees redundant last week.
“We could all appreciate the fact that there will be a fall-out if Cavalier folds,” he said.
“A company of that magnitude, with the amount of subcontractors who also depend on them will create a significant fall-out. Those contractors may have a hit on their companies.
“It’s difficult to get funding in this market and they sometimes depend on these general contractors to keep giving them work and pass on opportunities to them.”
Pratt said that he had not been able to confirm the fate of Cavalier Construction, one of the largest and most prominent construction companies.
Cavalier has been building throughout the Bahamas since 1956 and its fate is now being called into question alongside Bobcat Bahamas – which also fall under the Galaxy Group headed into liquidation.
Pratt said he reached out yesterday to company executives to no avail.
“One of the things that we use extensively in our industry is heavy equipment but when we the local contractors need equipment we either have to rent it or purchase it,” he continued.
“The problem arises when we have to compete against foreign contractors who bring in their own equipment. They don’t have to pay duty on their equipment but we do and thus sometimes our costs are higher.”
Pratt added: “The industry is not properly regulated to protect local contractors.
“Bahamian contractors do not control this industry. A company like Cavalier can definitely compete with quality of service of any major contractor.
“On the other hand when they have to go up against the foreign contractor who has lower funding costs it’s a challenge. You also have to consider equipment costs.”