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Virginia Manufacturer's Association

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VOLUME 12 | Edition 7 | December 2017

Letter from the President & CEO

Dear Members:

Today is an historic day as Congress is expected to vote on the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act after the Senate voted 51-48 last night to pass the legislation.  Manufacturers are expected to see the largest tax cut in decades. Some have argued that it's not an economic panacea, however, it's undeniable that  this is a critical development for growing the U.S. economy and improving manufacturing competitiveness.

Just a few of the manufacturing priorities in this bill are:
  • Immediate expensing of capital investment outlays
  • Reduces top effective marginal tax rate for S corporations to a top rate of 29.6 percent, allowing for a 20 percent tax deduction that applies to the first $315,000 of joint income earned by all S-corporations
  • Lowers corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent
  • Eliminates corporate Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
Now, if the Virginia General Assembly will follow suit with its own tax reforms, specifically focused on improving Virginia's manufacturing capital investment competitiveness, the Commonwealth may be able to restore its economic rankings and future growth.  So, please act today and let our members of Congress know your thoughts - click here for more information.

Happy Holidays to you and your families!
Brett A. Vassey
President & CEO

4th Quarter Manufacturers' Outlook Survey Results

The NAM released the 4 th  Quarter results of the Manufacturers' Outlook survey.  The survey shows manufacturers' confidence in the economy is at an all-time high. Our representatives in Washington are promoting policies that will enable manufacturers to hire more people, invest in their businesses - and make their products in America. 

Additionally, the survey showcases the importance for tax reform toward economic growth. 

Some incredible numbers from the survey:

  • 94.6% said they are positive about their own company's outlook. This is a record high for the 20+ years that this survey has been performed.
  • 63% said comprehensive business tax reform would encourage their company to increase capital spending.
  • 58% said they would expand their businesses if the tax reform package passed.
  • 57.9% said they would hire more workers if the tax reform package passed.
You can read the full results of the survey here.

Shiver in the River 2018!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Shiver in the River is the coolest winter festival in RVA!  You can clean up, walk/run, or jump in the James River -- or do all three!  You and your family can participate in as much or as little as you want, and you can form teams challenging your family, friends and co-workers. 
10:00 a.m. Community Cleanup 
Shiver in the River will start with a cleanup along the banks of the James River and in the RVA communities. Picking up litter and recyclables is at the very heart of Keep Virginia Beautiful.  The cleanup is free, and you can earn incentives by creating a fundraising page.

12:00 Noon 5K Walk/Run
The 5K Walk/Run is a fun event for the whole family that will start and end at Historic Tredegar, and take in the beauty of the James River.  Online registration ends on Thursday, February 22nd, but walk up registration will be available at packet pickup on Friday, February 23rd, and on the day of the event.  When you create a fundraising page, your registration fee counts toward your incentive awards. Short sleeve T-shirts are included in the 5K registration.  Please note, race registration fees are not refundable.

2:00 p.m. The James River Jump
The highlight of Shiver in the River is the James River Jump!  This fundraising Jump will take place along the chilly banks of the James near Historic Tredegar. A minimum of $75 must be raised to participate in the Jump and to receive a commemorative long sleeve T-shirt.  Online registration ends on Thursday, February 22nd, but walk up registration will be available at packet pickup on Friday, February 23rd, and on the day of the event.

11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Winter Festival!
There will be music, beverages, food, and more!  

The VMA is a proud partner of this event, so come join us for the Coolest Winter Festival in Richmond!  

Support FeedMore and Make a Difference to Those in Need

As Central Virginia's core-hunger relief organization, FeedMore is dedicated to distributing healthy food to neighbors in need.
FeedMore provides homemade meals to kids at afterschool programs, and on the weekend and during summer months when school meals are not accessible. FeedMore distributes wholesome food to families struggling to make ends meet and regain their financial balance. FeedMore hand delivers nutritious meals to homebound seniors and disabled neighbors, helping ensure these folks can age in place.  
Every year, FeedMore receives millions of pounds of donations from food manufacturers across the region. This support, coupled with generous financial contributions and volunteer hours donated by the manufacturing industry, enables FeedMore to help even more Central Virginians who struggle with hunger.
With the continuous support of the manufacturing community, FeedMore is able to provide our neighbors who face hunger with the nourishment they need to lead happy, healthy lives. And FeedMore is always looking for new partners to stand beside them in the fight against hunger!
If your organization is interested in making a difference in the communities you serve, please contact Kevin Rudnick, Corporate Relations Manager at FeedMore, (krudnick@FeedMore.org or 804-521-3273) to discuss partnership opportunities.

Who Wants To Work For Free?

Trying to do more work with less staff?  Before you cut the next check, ask yourself if you're taking advantage of all the resources at your disposal.

If you are having trouble finding and hiring employees, you're not alone. Today's economy may not be the economic boon that we saw in the late 90s or that of the early 2000s with the housing bubble, but it is humming along. A great deal of businesses are seeing economic growth. What are your options if your business is growing faster than you can hire the right employees? You can leverage resources you already have.

First you need to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Where do you need staff and what are the difficulties and finding and retaining those employees? What is your company mission? Where and how do you intend to grow? One answer may be to offload some of your workload to your suppliers.
Vendors can link you to educational resources and can often become extensions of your company. They can offer design services, write specifications or analyze past failures.  Many suppliers offer just-in-time inventory with their warehouse inside of your facility. These suppliers will have employees onsite managing inventory and becoming an extension of your team.
Choosing the right vendor does not need to be as difficult as hiring employees. Some purchasing departments have taken years to form layers of process to reduce cost and increase efficiency. But, as any experienced buyer knows, there's more to a purchase than a transaction. The key is not to wait until you have a project or an immediate demand, it's never too early to call a vendor. As the customer, you have all the power in the interaction.

As a business owner, I began analyzing vendors and what they could bring to the table for my company.
For over 12 years, I sold high performance industrial coatings for the Sherwin Williams Company in the Richmond area. As a sales person, I was trained to make myself an extension of my customer's business's.  Now, as a business owner, I look to my suppliers to offload certain functions of my business and leverage those relationships.
One of my company offerings is Safety Marking on floors in Warehouses and Factories. Recently we were given a lead by Sherwin Williams to install epoxy egress striping for a factory and warehouse. In this instance, our supplier become an extension of our sales team. With visits to the site, analyzing the concrete and specifying product, they became extensions of our technical team.

Don't be afraid to ask your vendors for help early in the project planning process. Use your vendors to help you analyze past failures and devise solutions for the future. Leverage their design services and have them write the project specifications. Bring in a second vendor to do the same. You are in control! You can end the conversation at any time, but why would you? Keep your vendors in the conversation. Let them know if the project is two years out, or if your building a budget for a project that might not even get approved. The vendors that stick with you and see you through a project, no matter how far out on the horizon, are true business partners and professionals.
Gregg Wiggin,  Operations Manager
Greyson Safety and Compliance