“I started my general contracting company in 2015.” Steve Buhler recalled. “I was doing mostly private work, but I wanted to get into public work construction. That was going to require bid bonds, and I had no idea where to start. CSBA reached out to me one day asking if I needed help getting set up for bid bonds, and I said ‘Yeah’.” “I was 29 years old and literally only had $23,000 in the bank, so I wasn’t really unsure with how much bonding capacity they would be able to get me.”
Steve goes on to say, “CSBA took the time to get to know me and my plans for my business, and they were able to set me up with an initial bid bond capacity of $500,000. After bonding a couple jobs, CSBA suggested I enroll into the Small Business Administration Bond Guarantee Program. From there, they got my capacity for bid bonds up to about $1 million per job.”
Dan Huckabay explains, “The SBA Bond Guarantee Program can be a great way to qualify contractors for larger bonds, because the SBA is more flexible in their underwriting. Generally speaking, we can get contractors twice the amount of bonding through the SBA bond program than we can through a traditional surety company.”
Buhler Commercial eventually graduated from the SBA bond program to a standard surety company, and they’ve bid projects up to $12 million.
“Not only has CSBA been able to increase my bonding capacity, they’ve been with me every step of the way to guide me on best practices in construction and help me avoid pitfalls that would set me back.” As a general contractor, one of my biggest risks is my subcontractors, and CSBA has spent a lot time with me understanding simple things I can do to select the right subs and how the process of bonding subcontractors works.
There is a lot that goes into establishing and increasing bonding capacity, and I’m glad I don’t have to figure it out my own. CSBA has been an incredible guide and partner.”