On January 1st, the biggest tax reform in three decades came into effect and looks set to change the way companies do business in the U.S. Irrespective of the political implications and trade ramifications, here at A-SAFE we will adapt and continue our mission to be world-leading innovators in workplace safety. Since our founding day in 1984, we’ve seen all manner of political upheaval, in countries around the world. Firstly, from our HQ in the UK, then in our global international offices too.
We’ve had a base in the U.S. for close to five years now, but the political changes currently effecting U.S. businesses are the most radical we’ve dealt with in our time here. Our policy of being “Global but Local” shines in these scenarios; it puts us in the strongest position to respond to domestic affairs. In every A-SAFE office worldwide, we employ local people. Experts in their field, equipped with an in-depth knowledge of domestic markets, legislation, safety practices, and social customs. How we capitalize on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) could have a significant impact on the future of A-SAFE Inc, and our customers across many industries are facing similar challenges. Of course, we won’t know the full effects of the bill until next year, but after one month the dust is beginning to settle. Here we take a view on how the tax bill will affect our industry, our customers, and our own future.
The new tax reforms will significantly help profitable companies, providing incentive to accelerate growth plans. They are aimed at stimulating capital spending and growth development, which for A-SAFE Inc is one of our key targets for the future. We want to be at $50M in by 2022, and in order to get there we will need to invest in facilities, equipment and people. Being able to receive tax breaks on those investments will absolutely make the decision to invest in A-SAFE Inc easier. It will be the same for our customers too, with the expansion of E-commerce, companies are looking to invest in new distribution channels. These tax breaks make the decision to invest much more compelling from a financial standpoint. For us having already planned to invest, this makes it a significantly more attractive proposition to do it sooner rather than later.
For our customers, those investments will likely be in people and property. As a sales and service entity providing world-class safety solutions, this presents us with both new opportunities and new challenges.
Where businesses are investing in property, we would expect them to want the best protection for their new assets. We are fully equipped to supply this and will be striving to ensure customers, existing and potential, receive comprehensive site surveys for all new property. Investment in optimum infrastructure protection from the beginning will radically reduce maintenance costs for years to come. Savvy health and safety staff and facility managers will be well aware of this, and so we hope to see a rise in investment in future-ready safety solutions across many industries.
In terms of the TCJA prompting greater investment in people, this presents a challenge that many businesses will need to prepare for. We always aim to invest to grow, and this includes recruitment.
Attracting top talent to our offices in all our territories is a company policy we’ve had since the beginning. In the US, this just got much more competitive. With more companies investing in people, and jobs becoming more abundant, we could see something of a power shift from employers to employees. Workers may be able to command greater salaries where companies compete for their skills, and the unemployed may suddenly find they have options to consider rather than taking whatever work they can. The competition for the top talent will be fierce.
We strive to recruit and nurture talent in every area of our business and are always ready to compete on this front. This is an exciting time in our company and new opportunities are opening up across our industry, with many interesting prospects for the future. It is important that we, and companies like us, communicate that to the watching US talent pool.
It will be interesting to see the impact of this tax bill over the coming months and years. For all the politics and furor surrounding it, the support offered to U.S. businesses is plain to see. It is a turbulent time in politics, but as ever, it is down to American pioneers and innovators to capitalize on the opportunities the TCJA presents. To drive the economy with certitude and direction into an exciting new future.
Paul Barlow is the CEO of A-Safe Inc, having achieved his Bachelors of Engineering from Newcastle University in England. Previous to A-Safe he worked for a large multinational Engineering company rising up to the position of VP of Sales for the Americas. Paul Barlow resides in York PA.