The White House Business Council invited small business owners and entrepreneurs from across the country to a forum we hosted with Business Forward earlier this month. While they were here, we spoke to some of the people we met about the secrets of their success, and found out how the American Jobs Act will enable them to grow even more quickly in 2012.
The 100% expensing provisions in the American Jobs Act are just the incentive Deb Carey needs to kick off a major upgrade at her Wisconsin brewery. In 2012, New Glarus Brewing Company will invest almost $2 million in a new 15,000 square foot warehouse, new kegs, a gift shop addition, new manufacturing equipment to improve energy efficiencies and production upgrades.
“The tax cuts in the American Jobs Act will make it more cost-effective to expand our employee base by 10 percent and give out annual raises. It will also help us write off over $1 million of new equipment investments, and ultimately, create more jobs and economic activity in our community,” says Carey.
Carey and her husband Dan have come a long way since they sold their home to raise the money to start the New Glarus Brewing Company in 1993. Today, New Glarus is Wisconsin's largest craft brewer, famous for its handcrafted brews made with 100% natural ingredients. The Careys run the brewery together – Dan is the brewmaster, Deb is president. She’s won multiple awards for entrepreneurship and small business ownership; his beers have won regional and national taste test contests. Their sales are up 30% over the same month last year, and they expect to end 2011 with sales up between 17 and 20 percent.
The owners credit their employees for the company’s success. “We have very low turnover, our employees are committed to the company and to one another. They volunteer to stay late, cover for one another, help out when the machinery breaks.” The Careys believe in the value of vocational training – they will pay the full tuition for any of their employees to go to a Wisconsin school to learn skills that will help in their position with the company. It’s an investment the Careys say they’ve made back several times over with the money they haven’t spent bringing in outside contractors to fix equipment. “We joke that you can taste the love in every bottle,” says Deb Carey. “It’s a cheesy way of putting it, but I do believe that the commitment of our staff makes a difference in the quality of our product.”