Kevin Wimsatt, Chief Executive Officer of Bold Concepts, ACTIVBonding’s parent company (Courtesy Bold Concepts)
Want an edge in the crowded federal construction market?
Increased bonding capacity empowers businesses to acquire higher-value contracts, thus maximizing their opportunity for success and rapid growth.
ACTIVBonding, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bold Concepts, provides small business general contractors and Tribal enterprises a customized roadmap to obtain higher surety credit — at two to three times greater than the market grants them currently.
In addition to accelerating bonding capacity, ACTIVBonding works with firms “to get ahead of the growth by adopting the policies and procedures they need to support their future growth,” said Kevin Wimsatt, Chief Executive Officer of Bold Concepts, ACTIVBonding’s parent company.
Accelerate Growth, Manage Risk
ACTIVBonding is partnered with Alliant Insurance Services, the largest and fastest growing surety broker in the United States. “In conjunction with Alliant, this program not only provides much greater bonding levels, which will allow for rapid growth, but also, more importantly, a support network of resources that allow these firms to implement policies, procedures, and accounting programs to control the growth.”
When firms experience rapid growth in the construction world in particular, it’s a high-risk environment, underscored Wimsatt. “We help them manage that risk.”
“Navigating the waters of a federal construction bonding program requires an effective plan for minimizing the potential for risk from running aground, damaging your business, and affecting your future bonding program (license to perform work),” Wimsatt stated.
ACTIVBonding assesses all facets of a business’ strengths and weaknesses, and then offers recommendations and resources to rectify any points of weakness. “Once we’ve addressed the areas of business improvements, then we’re going to get into the financials, working capital, the balance sheet,” Wimsatt said.
ACTIVBonding also invests the time and energy to really get to know a business, its employees and its short- and long-term goals.
Lowry was introduced to Bold Concepts back in 2007 while serving on the SIR Tribal Council. A relationship built on trust was forged between the Tribe and Bold Concepts over the course of two years.
“They were very transparent, and I think that’s key,” Lowry said of Bold Concepts’ stakeholders. “They explained everything to us: how it works, how bonding works, how banks work, how credit lines work, how government contracts work, how negotiations work. The fees and charges were clarified — and they made sure we understood them.”
This approach was a radical divergence from the way most companies propose economic development partnerships to Tribes, Lowry observed. He was impressed. “We learned what they can do — take construction companies in the 8(a) program and accelerate them to projects of a higher amount,” Lowry continued.
Four Tribes’ numbers speak for themselves. “The first day we created a bond of $10 million and $20 million aggregate. Normally, you start off really small at $500,000, maybe a million. If you can do that job successfully — that may take a year — then they’ll give you a little more bonding and you slowly build up other offers.”
ACTIVBonding increases bonding capacity, “so you can bond at a higher rate and be more successful upfront,” Lowry explained.
Today Four Tribes Construction’s bonding capacity is $50 million per project and $75 million in aggregate bonding. “It all started with ACTIVBonding’s accelerated bonding capacity,” Lowry said. “Now we’re doing anywhere from $35 million to $40 million a year in contracts.”
After a decade of high growth and expansion, Four Tribes Construction is preparing to exit its long-standing relationship with ACTIVBonding and Bold Concepts. “They don’t want to keep you forever,” Lowry said. “They want to build you up and let you go.”
Wimsatt added: “It may sound a little counter intuitive, but the value of our program is really rapid growth periods. That’s where our value is. So, it’s important to develop an exit strategy,” he clarified. “They’ll be supported by the standard market at that time.”