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Guy goes to Washington to celebrate tax cuts

April 14, 2018 GMT

More than 150 people gathered in the Rose Garden at the White House on Thursday. As cherry blossoms floated in the breeze, several Somerset County residents sat just feet from the president.

Of the 50 companies invited to President Donald Trump’s speech on tax cuts, one was from Somerset County: Guy Chemical.

“We did not get to meet the president, which was a little disappointing,” company President Guy Berkebile said. “But it was a good experience.”

In his speech, Trump credited his Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for allowing companies such as Guy Chemical to give money back to their employees.

Berkebile said the bill allowed him to increase employee bonuses by 25 to 50 percent and to invest in a new packaging line and laboratory at Guy Chemical. The Somerset Township company, which formulates compounds and packages silicone sealant, grease and epoxy, has 130 employees and sells products in more than 160 countries.

“It was great to get our story in front of the president,” he said.

Berkebile and employees Wes Fritz, Eric Lasure and Michelle Trulick visited the White House, going through three layers of security, while being surrounded by Secret Service, Marines and rooftop snipers.

“It was an honor,” Berkebile said. “It was great to have the experience to take my employees down and have them share that and visit the White House and see the president live.”

The president also invited a few business owners to speak at the event, including the owners of trucking, pizza and plumbing companies.

The business owners said their employees were able to go on vacations, pay doctor bills and improve their homes with the tax savings passed along by the businesses.

According to the Tax Policy Center and the Associated Press, 80 percent of American households will see tax cuts this year, while 5 percent will see tax increases.

Workers who make less than $25,000 will see an average tax cut of $60, while those who earn between $49,000 and $86,000 will pay about $900 less in taxes. Those who earn more than $733,000 will pay about $51,000 less in taxes.

“This event is dedicated to you,” Trump said, “the hardworking Americans who make our nation run. You love your country, you provide for your family, you’re proud of everything you’ve done, you’ve got that great extra strength that other people don’t have, and you cherish a wonderful thing called our great American flag.

“And now, because of our tax cuts, you can keep more of your hard-earned money.”

Berkebile said he agreed with everything the president said in his speech, and, if he had the chance to speak with him, he would have thanked him for supporting small businesses.

“We are an example of a company and employees who are benefiting from the tax cut,” he said.