Sign & Digital Graphics

March '18

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6 • March 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S __________________________________________ Publisher James "Ruggs" Kochevar – Executive Editor Ken Mergentime – Managing Editor Matt Dixon – Digital Content Editor Tony Kindelspire – __________________________________________ Art Director Linda Cranston Graphic Artist Iveth Gomez Multimedia Producer Andrew Bennett __________________________________________ Advertising Account Executives Erin Geddis – Diane Gilbert – Sara Siauw – Sales Support Dana Korman – __________________________________________ Contributors in this Issue: Matt Charboneau; Vince DiCecco; Scott Franko; Ryan Fugler; Paula Aven Gladych; Charity Jackson; Stephen Romaniello; Bill Schiffner; Shelley Widhalm; Steven Vigeant; Eddie Wieber; Rick Williams ___________________________________________ Vice President/Events Sue Hueg CEM, CMP – Show Sales Damon Cincotta – Exhibitor Services Lawrence Stern – ____________________________________________ National Business Media, Inc. President & CEO Robert H. Wieber Jr. Vice President/Integrated Media John Bennett Vice President/Finance Kori Gonzales, CPA Vice President/Publishing and Markets Dave Pomeroy Vice President/Audience Lori Farstad Director of IT Wolf Butler B Y K E N M E R G E N T I M E The Long View N ow that the U.S. economy seems to be humming along again, and the overall business outlook, by all accounts, is excellent in our diverse corner of the world of commerce, it's time to take stock and plan for the future. The timing is especially important in light of the newly enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—a major re-write of the U.S. tax code. For today's businesses environment this legislation is good news indeed. The businesses that make up what we collectively call the sign and commercial graphics industry consist of supply side entities and the companies that buy from them to produce all kinds of signs, graphics and displays. Basically, I'm talking about manufacturers, distributors and the shops themselves. That mix is made up of vari- ous business types ranging all the way from huge C-corporations, to partnerships, LLCs, sole proprietorships, small S-corporations, etc. In other words—every sort of small, medium and large business enterprise. Now I'm no tax expert by any means but, from what I understand, the new tax law provides for a flat 21% tax rate for the largest corporations (C corporations), which is much reduced from the previous 35% rate. The new code also benefits owners of so-called "pass-through" businesses (sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs and S corporations) that will benefit from a new provision that allows them to deduct a full 20 percent of their business income. Pass-through businesses owners do not pay taxes on their business as a separate corporate entity. Instead, profits from the business are passed through to the owners of the business who then report that income on their individual tax returns and pay tax on it, along with the rest of their income. Most U.S. businesses—about 95 per- cent according to the Brookings Institute—are considered pass-throughs. So, a boon for businesses big and small. For business owners the question then becomes what will you do with gains from these permanent new tax breaks? Some large corporations now say they are giving $1,000 bonuses to employees and are re-investing in the U.S. But a recent survey conducted by Bank of America-Merrill Lynch of 300 executives of major U.S. corporations asked what they would do with a corporate tax cut. The top three responses were: 1) Pay down debt; 2) Stock buy- backs (a form of payment to shareholders); and 3) Mergers. But what about offering better wages for their employees? Better wages have not really been a part of our economic recovery, despite the low 4.1% unemployment rate. According to reporting from CNN Money, as of November 2017, "wages were only up 2.5% compared with a year ago. And since October 2010, the economy has added jobs every single month, but wage growth has averaged a paltry 2.2%. It's not completely bleak, however, as private-sector wages and salaries did rise 2.8 percent in the final three months of 2017 compared with a year earlier, according to a January jobs report. The point is that, with this windfall tax break, business owners reading this magazine have a chance to help turn that around. You can pay it forward by offer- ing better wages to your staff. In the long run you'll attract better qualified workers, improve your output and have a tangible and positive impact on the U.S. economy. It's the right thing to do. Okay, back to work. Pay it Forward Got something to say? Join the S&DG Discussion Group at:

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