Trump recognizes Iowa businessman for sharing tax cut

Cushing farm supply owner gave 7 employees bonuses, raises

Jim Lee, Sioux City Journal

Shawn Joy works on a vehicle Wednesday at Anfinson Farm Store in Cushing in northwest Iowa. John Anfinson, the owner, was in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, one of five U.S. business owners honored for sharing some of their savings from the new U.S. tax bill with their employees.
Jim Lee, Sioux City Journal Shawn Joy works on a vehicle Wednesday at Anfinson Farm Store in Cushing in northwest Iowa. John Anfinson, the owner, was in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, one of five U.S. business owners honored for sharing some of their savings from the new U.S. tax bill with their employees.

WASHINGTON — A small-business owner from the tiny northwest Iowa city of Cushing found himself shaking hands with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on Wednesday.

John Anfinson was one of seven U.S. business owners invited to the White House to meet Trump, who thanked them for sharing with their employees some of the savings from the tax cut bill championed by the Republican president and the GOP-led Congress.

Of the companies honored by Trump, Anfinson’s business, Anfinson Farm Supply, was easily the smallest.

Within days of the bill’s passage in December, Anfinson gave all seven of his full-time employees a $1,000 bonus, plus a 5 percent pay raise.

“That way the money flows back into the community,” Anfinson told The Journal after the ceremony.

The independent farm supply store also employs some part-time workers during the busy spring season. The owner said he is also considering giving them bonuses as well “because it would be fair.”

His recent generosity isn’t something his employees took for granted.

“I’m very grateful for the bonus and raise I received,” said Shawn Joy, who has worked as an applicator/operator at the business for about five years.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

The opportunity to meet with Trump was pretty random, Anfinson said. He registered his business on the Americans for Tax Reform website, along with other businesses that have benefited from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Shortly after he registered, Anfinson said a writer from the website interviewed him for an article that was published Jan. 9. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, called him, and then a White House staffer. After a short interview, Anfinson was invited to fly to Washington.

Anfinson said he was nervous about meeting Trump, but he said the president did a great job of putting everyone at ease and was charismatic. “He walked in the room and about 30 seconds later he had us laughing,” Anfinson said.

Anfinson said he was impressed that the president was able to remember everyone’s name and little tidbits about them.

Anfinson was joined at the Oval Office ceremony by representatives from Bank Midwest, Independence, Mo.; Total System Services, Muscogee County, Ga.; Jergens Inc., Cleveland; AFLAC, Columbus, Ga.; National Band Holdings Corp., Arapahoe County, Colo.; and Bank of Colorado, Fort Collins, Colo.

Anfinson said he decided to give bonuses and raises to his employees immediately after the tax bill passed. He also is buying new equipment for his plant.

According to a transcript of the meeting, Anfinson told Trump his granddaughter and her husband in Boston were “ecstatic” about the $6,000 they will pocket this year because of the tax cuts.

“It is not crumbs, that I can tell you,” Trump replied, in a shot at House Minoirty Leader Nancy Pelosi, to laughter.

“No, not crumbs,” Anfinson agreed.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Thank you for signing up for our e-newsletter!

You should start receiving the e-newsletters within a couple days.

More than 275 U.S. companies have announced bonuses, raises, expanded benefits or new jobs as a result of the tax bill, according to the White House.

Anfinson said he also plans to reinvest some of the tax savings in his business, which has been in his family for 100 years.

The Cushing company was started by Anfinson’s maternal grandfather as a general store that sold milk, produce, clothes and other items for farmers.

CONTINUE READING

MORE Nation & World ARTICLES TO READ NEXT ...

Domino's Pizza claimed the title of largest pizza company in the world this week, passing Pizza Hut. The company, in its fourth-quarter earnings report, said its self-proclaimed No. 1 ranking is based on global retail sales.Ann Ar ...

A passenger vehicle struck a security barrier near the White House on Friday afternoon, according to the U.S. Secret Service.There were not immediate reports of injuries, and authorities could not immediately say if the incident w ...

Give us feedback

Have you found an error or omission in our reporting? Tell us here.

Do you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.