Covering agriculture I’ve spent my fair share of time listening to farmers talk about how they don’t have any money. Well… they have it, but they can’t touch the cash because it all has to be wrapped up in their operation in case the bottom of the ag economy falls out.
A personal favorite of mine:
“If you want to die rich become a farmer,” farmer Mark Haser told me last year as we stood on his farm in Beaver Crossing, Neb. “Because that’s all you’re going to be able to do on the rich side of things.”
These kinds of conversations popped back into my head last week while I was on the line for a conference call hosted by Families USA, a healthcare advocacy organization. They were touting new research stating more than 3.2 million small businesses were eligible for a $15 billion in tax credits in the Affordable Care Act.
One of the small business owners was ReShonda Young, the owner of Alpha Express, a machine part and farm equipment delivery service in Waterloo, Iowa.
“This year we’re able to get 10 percent of our premium dollars back because of the tax credit in the new law,” Young told reporters. “We’ll be putting that money back into our business… reinvesting it into our fleet.”
Young’s father started the company in 1989 originally as a limousine service. But it quickly changed from people to objects. One of its biggest accounts is with John Deere.
When the company started, Young said, they couldn’t afford health care for employees.
“We offer it now, but it’s difficult to find good insurance that’s affordable,” Young said.
But given the solid agriculture sector could the company prosper without the tax credit? Yes.
“Our business could stay afloat even without the tax credit,” Young told me in a personal interview after the conference call. “Because our business actually has grown throughout the recession, so we’ve not seen a decrease in our business at all in terms of the work we do for John Deere.”
The takeaway from this? If you’re looking to get into a small business, you might get into something farmers can have wrapped up in their operation.