Building companies see more clients that can't pay their bills

Six in ten building companies or businesses active in the construction or renovation sector say they have to deal with more clients that can't pay their bill, due to rising costs. At the same time, more clients are postponing projects, adapting them or even cancelling them. It seems the crisis is bad news for both players, as companies are getting fewer requests. 

A poll was conducted among 382 small and middle-sized businesses in the construction sector. Six in ten say their have to deal with an increasing number of clients that are paying late or not at all. This is because building materials are getting more expensive, triggering higher bills. 

"Some clients are having financial problems to foot the bill. But don't forget this also has an impact on our companies", says Jean-Pierre Waeytens of the Bouwunie, the umbrella organisation representing businesses in the building, construction and renovation sector.  

At the same time, half of the companies is getting fewer requests for new projects. More clients are asking them to postpone a project, to alter it or to cancel it altogether. "This also has an impact on the companies", says Waeytens. In a nutshell, rising prices are bad news for both clients and businesses. The Bouwunie is asking banks to be more flexible towards clients, and to pay directly to the company. 

Economy Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne (Francophone socialist) wants to cut fines for people paying late. These fines can grow fast through time, and sometimes become higher than the original amount. Mr Dermagne has a  bill ready that should be voted in autumn to give clients more breathing space. 

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