Small Business: We Need Better Direction from D.C.

FBN's Jeff Flock visits Advanced Flexible Composites, and finds out how uncertainty has impacted business.

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Manufacturing Company Blames Government for Stifled Growth

Without clear direction from lawmakers in Washington, D.C., the executives of Advanced Flexible Composites say it’s impossible to plan for the future.

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In this edition of Conference Room, the family members running the small Illinois-based manufacturing company tell FBN’s Jeff Flock that uncertainty surrounding taxes makes it difficult to expand and hire new employees. An unexpected tax hike forced AFC to limit its hiring to part-time staffers this year, rather than adding more full-time workers to the payroll.

“Last year our budgeting process occurred about November … and then we got hit with a tax increase,” says CFO Chris Lewis. “We hired a bunch of part-time, hoping we can kick them over to full-time.” The company currently has around 100 employees.

“We’re day to day – we don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring,” agrees vice president of operations Bart Lewis.

While lower taxes would be ideal, president and CEO Bill Lewis says any definite direction would be better than no direction at all.

“We need to have a sense of direction. It’s better than the other [option], which is floundering,” he says.

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Despite the confusion, Chris says there’s still a sense of optimism in the air at Advanced Flexible Composites.

“If you don’t, then you’re in despair, so you always have hope … We look at our employees – we’re bringing in a lot of younger employees nowadays, and that’s the future of the company,” says Chris.

“We want to obviously give them a future and give them something to look forward to … but it all depends on us having visibility of the future,” he adds.

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