Trade Policies and Tax Reform are Working for Small Businesses

Michael Vallante
Michael Vallante

By: Michael Vallante, U.S. Small Business Administration Region IX Administrator

During the State of the Union, President Trump highlighted the bold changes to trade policies and tax reform that he is making in order to fight for American workers and businesses that will expand prosperity. This reform is working.

Based out of Chino, Thin Metal Sales had been experiencing a decline in sales due to the high availability of imported low cost steel.

Jonathan Mulvihill knows his company inside and out since he began working summers at Thin Metal Sales at the age of 12. The company was founded by his uncle in 1976 and acquired by his father in 1983; in 2017 Jonathan became a majority owner.

After serving in Iraqi Freedom in the Marine Corps, Jonathan returned to the family business and took business classes. Jonathan became the General Manager in 2015, but the high availability of low-cost steel from China used by competitors caused sales to continue to shrink.

In 2018, President Trump’s Administration imposed tariffs on imported metals. Thin Metal Sales saw an increase of 40 percent of sales, since his competitors were running out of imported steel supplies.

Jonathan Mulvihill also took advantage of the tax savings from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and new favorable depreciation rules to reinvest nearly $134,000 in new equipment, upgrades and repairs to existing equipment, website updates and provide generous company bonuses to eleven employees which he trains and promotes from within for the highly skilled positions.

The tax and trade policy reforms are helping American small businesses like Thin Metal Sales succeed, and create new jobs. Entrepreneurs have created 5.3 million new jobs and added more than half a million new manufacturing jobs since November 2016.

African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American unemployment have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded. Orange County’s unemployment rate of 2.8 percent demonstrates that our local community is prospering.

Jonathan’s belief in continuous improvement led him to join one of SBA’s funded Resource Partner programs, the SCORE Orange County CEO Forum where valuable information and experiences are shared with other entrepreneurs in a peer group setting in order to help businesses succeed.

As President Trump stated during his State of the Union address, “But the fact is, we are just getting started.”   

As the Regional Administrator to U.S. Small Business Administration, Region IX, I invite you to contact your local SBA District Office to get access to resources to help start or scale up your business.

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