Each week brings a wave of small business and manufacturing success stories—bright signs of economic resurgence in communities all across the country. After years of being stifled by overtaxation and overregulation under an administration that forgot about them, these industries are reinvigorated and driving the economy once again.
It’s no coincidence. Over the last two years, Republicans have focused on recharging these engines of growth. Piece by piece, we overhauled our tax code and implemented a regulatory agenda that would return our economy to one that works for its workers. Here are some recent snapshots that tell this comeback story:
- Peoria, Illinois, “is enjoying a manufacturing boom that appears to be fattening workers’ paychecks.” The community’s average weekly earnings rose 24 percent in the first quarter of 2018, compared with the year prior. Greater Peoria Economic Development Council CEO said “We have seen a real bounce back, especially in the manufacturing sector, and those are good-paying jobs and we have lots of them available.” The Chicago Tribune notes construction may also be spurring wage growth as the region undertakes new infrastructure projects.
- “We’re going to add more stores, more people, everything.” That’s Mark Stapelton, the owner of an apparel store in Dayton, Ohio talking about his plans to expand in this booming economy. Also in that Dayton Daily News story, titled, “Local small businesses hiring more in healthy economy,” another small business owner, Mary Burnside, talks about how she’s now been able to hire new workers for the first time ever. “There is a positive spirit of optimism among our business leaders,” Katie Koglman, executive director of the Ohio Chamber Research Foundation, says.
- In Oriskany, New York, small business owners gathered to share with Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) and Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon how the combination of less burdensome regulation and the new tax code have boosted their business and better served their employees. President of Fiber Instrument Sales Frank Giotto said: “We’ve been enjoying the tax cut and businesses have been able to reinvest and they’ve been able to share some of these monies with employees.”
- Optimism among small businesses is widespread and continuing to climb, according to the National Federation of Independent Business’ latest Small Business Optimism Index. Take it from NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg: “Small business owners have never been so optimistic for so long.” The best news tucked away in the new report? Job creation plans reached record levels. It goes to show that when we create an economic climate with less uncertainty, business owners can focus on expansion and creating new opportunities for working Americans.
- “I am one of just hundreds of businesses across the country to reinvest its tax code savings into its employees,” Debbie McFarland of St. Charles, Missouri-based McFarland Interiors writes in the Kansas City Star. “With these added funds, I am able to upgrade my equipment, invest in new product lines and hire more contractors.”
- Gary, Indiana’s U.S. Steel plant is about to get an upgrade. The company announced last week it is investing $750 million to revitalize its plant there—a project that will expand the facility, provide new equipment, and preserve the jobs of its 3,800 workers. This comes on the heels of the company’s announcement to restart a facility and hire 800 workers near St. Louis.
Read more: Snapshots of How Workers Are Better Off Now