BINGHAMTON, NY – This week’s Black Owned 607 series features a local tradesman who is using state incentives and good old fashioned word-of-mouth referrals to grow his business.
William Durham is owner of William H Construction
We caught up with him yesterday as he was renovating the storefront of 265 Main Street in Johnson City on behalf of a local developer.
Durham, a Union-Endicott graduate, began construction work concentrating on flooring, then roofing and now he focuses on all of the carpentry work in between.
Whether it’s small repairs, demolitions, kitchen and bath renovations or additions, Durham says he loves to stay busy and work on new projects.
“I’ve always been the type of person who wanted to leave things behind when I’m gone, and these are some of the things I leave behind. Whether it’s a railing or a storefront or anything, it will be here a lot longer than me and I really appreciate that part of it,” says Durham.
As with most contractors, the size of Durham’s crew fluctuates depending on the amount of work.
He currently employs 5 men but has had as many as 9.
Durham says he’s looking for people who want to work, including other minorities, and with the right candidate is willing to do on-the-job training.
Since he founded the business in 2014, he’s seen a steady increase in referrals and repeat business and recently got a boost from achieving Minority-Owned Business Enterprise certification from New York State.
“There’s a lot of jobs that were already taken due to people knowing each other in the neighborhood. Most likely, they’ll go with somebody they know. Most recently, I became an MBE which opens the doors for me to do a lot of different projects. So, I’ve been getting a lot of phone calls. a lot of opportunities to bid on jobs that I normally wouldn’t get in the past,” says Durham.
Through his Minority-Owned Business Enterprise certification and a growing number of referrals and repeat business, Durham says he’s been able to increase his business 5-fold.
And when he does encounter what he suspects is racism, he says he moves on and chooses not to dwell on it.
You can contact William H Construction by calling 348-4471.