Just over 75% say jobs have been delayed or cancelled, and around one in 10 have already been forced to lay off staff.
Trade body, the Federation of Master Builders, has written to the Chancellor and business and housing ministers calling for five business saving measures.
Proposed smaller builder survival plan
- Three month tax holiday on VAT, PAYE and CIS payments
- Delay the implementation of reverse charge VAT by one year
- Extend the £25,000 cash grant currently only provided to retail and hospitality to construction firms
- Pay the equivalent rate of Statutory Sick Pay to the self-employed who fill 37% of industry jobs
- Ensure that the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is launched as soon as possible.
It is also calling on the Government to work with the CITB to help employers keep their apprentices; provide clarification to builders and householders whether social distancing means all domestic building work must stop even if all concerned are well.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “The Government has overlooked the market in which small builders operate.
“Builders working in the domestic sector simply cannot work from home and are already feeling the impact of the pandemic as a result.
“The Government must intervene as a matter of urgency if small building companies are to protect their workforces, avoid further job losses, and prevent building companies going to the wall.”
He said: “We musn’t allow a repeat of the 2008 recession when one in three SME construction firms left the industry.
“Building new homes and levelling-up infrastructure will be key to rebuilding our economy after the virus has passed, and the Government will need an army of builders in place to deliver that.”