Good Times cover story  Back in the Black feature Guild member Gordie Schwartz and Dovetail Construction.

coverstorey2The Builder

“The Great Recession had a profound effect on my business,” says local builder and member of the Santa Cruz Construction Guild Gordie Schwartz. “My gross receipts used to average around $1.3 to $1.4 million, we typically do less than half that now. I used to have between six and eight employees. I generally have three, maybe four, guys working these days.

“My average project size used to be $300,000 to $500,000,” he adds, “but nowadays, we do a lot of $50,000 to $150,000 projects. On the plus side, I’d say that we’ve become more efficient as a company—a necessary adaptation for survival in this climate.”

Schwartz also has a sense that things are improving.

“At least for me, the process is slow,” he says. “We’ve been busy, but there’s very little sense of  security still, and the projects are much smaller than they used to be. Am I more optimistic? I suppose so, but five or six years of a difficult economy has been pretty draining. All in all, I think things are moving in the right direction, but I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet.”

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