Today George Allen continued his conversation with Virginia small business owners with a tour of Tart Lumber in Sterling, Virginia. He was joined by Delegate David Ramadan and 10th District Republican Committee Chairman John Whitbeck in hearing how a family-owned small business can be innovative and adapt in tough economic times.
First opened in 1951 by Lynwood Tart in Arlington, Tart Lumber has helped generations of families build their homes and communities create jobs through economic development. Now in Sterling, Tart Lumber has grown to include a hardware store, millshop and millwork showroom. Facing economic challenges deepened by the housing market downturn, Tart Lumber has focused on adapting operations to meet new business opportunities and customers.
"Tart Lumber was built with hard work and ingenuity, and that's what we support for our customers," said Jason Koller, General Manager of Tart Lumber. "It's been a tough road the last few years, but we've focused our resources on broadening our business base to keep jobs and projects growing -- all without government intervention. We need Washington to provide long-term tax relief and cut down on the heavy-handed regulations so we can have a measure of certainty to plan and invest. Instead of the government takeover of health care, we need true health care reform that would actually help lower costs."
In 2009, the Tart family invested in future growth by purchasing a nearby building that allowed owners Libby and Craig Fritsche to move the existing millshop and renovate the old building as a first class millwork showroom. These investments will help broaden Tart Lumber's customer base to better serve homeowners, as well as their existing contractors and builders, with better displays and expanded hours. To help control overhead costs, Tart Lumbar has utilized Health Savings Accounts along with company investment for deductibles as a more affordable option as the company pays the majority of employee health insurance premiums.
"Tart Lumber is a heartening example of a family enterprise building the American Dream," said George Allen. "Small businesses like Tart Lumber are the job-creators who adapt, innovate and improve to succeed in constantly changing times. Small business owners don't need more adversity from the Obama/Kaine agenda of more taxes, more regulations, and government run health care that drive up the cost of conducting business and impede their ability to invest and hire. I am committed to advocating for the voices of Virginia's small business owners in Washington for more simple, fair and competitive tax laws, reasonable regulations, productive energy policies and patient-centered health care reform. We should have a hassle-free government that allows entrepreneurs the freedom to build their own success by improving opportunities for their customers."