Stellar Industries, an aptly named hydraulic truck equipment manufacturer, reflects the values of the small town it operates in. Based in Garner, Iowa, Stellar Industries has always been a family- and employee-oriented business, ensuring that its workers share in the company’s success. Click here to check out a photo essay of its operations. Stellar Industries has enjoyed a successful past two years, with business growing by 50 percent this year alone. But with the fiscal cliff approaching and no solution in sight, it’s a starkly different outlook for Stellar Industries in 2013.
The significant bounce back Stellar Industries enjoyed from the 2009 recession is at risk. The company has seen its orders rescinded, and customers are sitting on the sidelines. As suppliers to the mining industry that has come under attack from Washington recently, some of its customer base is eroding. To weather the coming economic storm, Stellar Industries plans to reduce overtime and remains very cautious about its employment situation. Future investments and acquisitions are uncertain at best.
“One of the best presents for the holidays we could receive is a commitment from Washington to implement policies that will help us grow,” said Stellar Industries CFO David Backus. “We need an agreement in the short term that can lead to resolving the bigger tax and debt issues facing America. We’ve always taken care of our employees because they are our most valuable asset, but a bad economy reduces our ability to do that and forces us to make some tough decisions.”
Mr. Backus goes on to say that, “Raising taxes won’t get the job done. It won’t solve our problems, but it will hurt manufacturers of all sizes. Washington could use a dose of the reality that businesses face every day. We’re planning today for 10 years from now. Because Washington has been unable to get out of its own way, we have to make those plans blindfolded.”
We’re just days away from going off the cliff, and manufacturers are deeply worried about where this will leave them. They want something simple—action from Washington that will allow them to keep growing, investing and taking care of the men and women who make up their workforce. It’s not too much to ask, and it would be great if policymakers could provide the gift of certainty this holiday season.
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