Glier’s Meats, Inc., a third generation owned food manufacturer in Covington, Kentucky is deeply worried about the cuts that the fiscal cliff might force upon their business. They’ve already had to delay buying two new smokehouses, critical upgrades to their facilities, and the purchase of a new boiler with the hopes that the old one will hold out until the economy picks up again. These are gambles that no manufacturer should have to be making – hoping that they’ll be able to tread water long enough for Washington to sort out a self-inflicted mess.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)/IndustryWeek Survey of Manufacturers tells us that, unfortunately, they are not alone. The prospect of higher taxes as part of the fiscal cliff caused 62.9 percent of manufacturers to reduce their business outlook for 2013. Moreover, 42.6 percent either reduced or slowed down their business investment, and 36.2 percent either reduced their employment or stopped hiring. Now is the time for manufacturers to be growing – but uncertainty due to Washington’s inaction has them cutting back.
Dan Glier, owner of Glier’s Meats, says the number one thing affecting his business is uncertainty. “We are trying to plan for next year, to invest where we need it, and it’s next to impossible. We’re basically pulling numbers out of the sky as we’re making our budget – and because of that, I can’t make the improvements we badly need. I just don’t know if the money is going to be there.”
Since its founding in 1961, Glier’s Meats has made their ‘goetta,’ a German-style sausage, into a must-have treat in the Greater Cincinnati area. This small family-owned manufacturer with 25 employees has become the preeminent supplier of ‘goetta’ in the United States. Each year the company hosts ‘Goetta-Fest,’ a multi-day festival that attracted over 175,000 people last year. Manufacturers and local communities often become entwined over the years – so much so that it’s hard to think of one without the other. Glier’s Meats is that kind of manufacturer. Of their 25 employees, two-thirds of them have been with the company over 10 years, and a few have worked there for almost 40. The Glier family is loyal – to their workers and to their community – and it is a sad thing to see them at risk.
“I hope I don’t have to make further cuts. We want to do right by the people who work for us,” said Mr. Glier. “We’ve already made many cuts and if we have to keep doing so it will cut our legs right out from under us. The political posturing and verbal swordplay does nothing for the small business owners in this country. It’s time for Washington to put all of that aside and just get down to business. Offer up a solution that works and keeps us doing what we want – working for our communities.”