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Stimulus Strings

Stimulus Money in HandThe American Recovery & Reinvestment Act has pledged 787 billion dollars to help jump start the ailing economy.  Six billion has been set aside for Water & Wastewater infrastructure projects.  On paper that sounds like a win-win scenario for the Water & Wastewater community and their suppliers.  However, bureaucratic red tape and statutes, like the Buy-American clause, have created more questions than answers and are slowing down the process.  At first glance, Buy-American sounds like a great idea, after all it’s our tax dollars being spent, but what qualifies as American made?  We already know Domestic doesn’t really mean 100% Made in America. So is it going to be 90, 80 or even 50 percent that’s acceptable and how will it be enforced?    

Stimulus StringsFor most of us in the valve industry, at least a portion of our valve’s components are imported and a percentage of our finished product is exported.  So as we all scramble to ascertain the actual percentage of foreign made components in each of our products, I wonder, is it good to have the government involved in our business, or should they just set policy and let us take care of business?  After all, what benefit really comes from rising costs due to the increased governmental paperwork and where does protectionism STOP?  Can we expect retaliation for our trading partners?  Most likely, so what is the answer?  I believe we need an up-to-date industrial policy that truly fosters small business growth and streamlines the process. We need available funding sources for working capital and flexible banking policies; not the pigeon holed political policies of the past.  We need to recognize that a strong industrial base is crucial to our remaining a prosperous nation. 

Robert Melani

Refuse to Participate!

Flexi-Hinge refuses to participate in recession

On a recent sales trip to Indianapolis, IN, I called on a longtime customer.  As I drove up, I noticed more vehicles in and around their shop than I had ever seen before. When I inquired, they confirmed their workforce had increased, but the reason for the congestion was the new addition that was nearing completion.  This new production and storage addition almost doubles their current square footage.  “Wow, how are you able to do that when most everyone in our industry is cutting back,” I asked.  I was told that their President in his annual meeting this past January stated, “THEIR BUSINESS WOULD NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE RECESSION.”  What a refreshing outlook. 

So today, I’m signing on and stating that we, at Flexi-Hinge®, refuse to participate in the recession as well.  We will press forward with our plans to expand.  Our new updated website goes active this week and plans for new advertising and marketing initiatives are in the works.  It’s a modest start, but it is that “can do” attitude that built this country and it is that spirit that will pull us through.  So spread some optimism one person, one business at a time. Take the pledge with us and REFUSE TO PARTICIPATE IN NEGATIVE THINKING.


Robert Melani


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