With the one-year anniversary of President Obama signing into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we are hearing a lot of information and opinions about how successful the stimulus bill has been in regards to helping create jobs. And some in the woodworking industry can be heard asking, “Where’s our help?”
Well, I’m not certain exactly how much help the woodworking industry has received. That’s part of the reason I am writing this blog. But I do know that there are some woodworking industry companies out there that have benefited from the bill.
A recent article on The Biz Press Web site detailed how Royce Pacific, a distributor and service station for woodworking tools, benefited from workforce programs available through stimulus dollars. According to the article, “the company took advantage of the Student Educational Employment Program. The employment program allowed them to expand their staff and fill needed positions with the right candidates. During the first six months, employee wages for these positions were paid by the program, which alleviated some costs and helped the company focus on business growth and other operational functions.”
ProPublica, which calls itself “an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest,” also has detailed listings of where stimulus funds have been going. A simple search for companies with the word “woodworking” in their name brought up 10 examples of woodworking stimulus recipients, who received loans from $12,500 to $675,000. That’s not including woodworking companies that do not have “woodworking” in their name, or companies that might be indirectly getting work from stimulus funds granted to state and local governments.
My point is, some companies in the woodworking industry are getting help. Have any of you out there benefitted? Do you think that the stimulus bill is or will be a boost to the woodworking industry, or do you think the above are isolated examples of a small group? We’d love to hear your stories or opinions.
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