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Many small and midsize contractors don’t consult their surety-bond underwriters soon enough after running into trouble that could trigger a bond—an event that threatens a contractor’s ability to remain in business, according to surety executive Roland Richter.

Business management and performance are the major factors that will determine which contractors survive the years-long downturn in the construction industry, but the size of a contractor also is important, says Richter, vice president of marketing at Liberty Mutual Surety in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

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