Until this fall, Staub Manufacturing Solutions in Dayton, Ohio, was having a pretty good year. The laser-cutting manufacturer had experienced an uptick in sales and had grown its workforce to accommodate the demand for its services. Unfortunately, as the leaves changed, so did its outlook on the future of its business. The fiscal cliff and accompanying uncertainty caused a sharp slowdown—many large projects and orders were cancelled—as its customers expressed anxieties over their future.

“Our customers have postponed or cancelled orders that would have meant significant growth for our company,” said Steve Staub, president and owner of Staub Manufacturing Solutions. “In fact, several of those orders were large enough that we would have hired additional people, and now that is just impossible. Sadly, if this slowdown continues, we’re likely going to have to go in the other direction and implement layoffs. What Washington doesn’t seem to understand is that any tax increase is going to hurt our company. We’re already dealing with huge cost increases in energy and other operational obligations.”

At the beginning of this year, Mr. Staub says that he was very optimistic about growth. 2011 had been a good year, and his company was expecting to do even better in 2012. As business began to slow, he attempted to maintain his optimism, but it became evident that what happened in Washington was going to dramatically affect his business, for better or worse. He remarked, “Some customers told me that if Washington appeared to be getting its act together, they would make some major purchases. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and those orders vanished. I don’t blame them—the same people who have put our country in this situation have still been unable to come to an agreement that protects job creators like me.”

Mr. Staub is intensely proud of manufacturing in the United States.  He is an active business leader in his community. He has a strong commitment to telling the story of manufacturing and launched a blog last year, “Made in Dayton,” to showcase the contributions of local manufacturers. Staub Manufacturing’s efforts are inspiring and exactly what policymakers in Washington should be working to support. Unfortunately, we are 13 days away from going over the fiscal cliff, and there is no end in sight to the uncertainty.

A family-owned business, Staub Manufacturing began in 1997 with one laser and three people. Like its services, its team has grown over the years with some of the best in the business. From the original offering of flat laser cutting, the company has added 3D laser cutting, forming, welding, metal fabrication and machining solutions to support a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, computers and many more. When manufacturers like Staub Manufacturing struggle, it sends a ripple effect throughout the entire economy.

Mr. Staub added, “I still believe in our company and that we will have long-term opportunities to succeed. We’re set to work doubly hard to make sure that we come through the fiscal cliff well, but it would be great if we didn’t have to fight through Washington’s policies to be successful.”

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