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Old 01-09-2012, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Inis Fada
16,803 posts, read 29,011,820 times
Reputation: 7390

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My DH and I own and operate a small home improvement contracting business. He has been in the trade since HS and has been doing this for over 35 years. 21 years ago we established our business.

Right from the start we have done everything above the boards -- registration with the federal government for a TIN, with the state for sales tax and UI, etc., with local county and towns for licensing. Add to that registering with the EPA for lead certification. Adding insult to injury, our local county collects a couple of hundred dollars above the licensing fee which goes into a fund -- this is the kicker -- the fund reimburses homeowners (up to a certain amount) for improper/faulty work done by unlicensed contractors!

We spent tens of thousands of dollars each year to maintain commercial liability, workers comp, commercial auto, non vehicular equipment, unemployment and disability insurance. We maintain an office with land line phone (no fly-by-night), workshop and garage. Our employees are e-verified, background checked, uniformed and professional in appearance -- as well as being highly qualified and able to speak and comprehend English.

There are many other small business people like us who are finding themselves in the same situation: We are being undercut by business which are operating under-the-wire, paying day laborers cash -- and this isn't just illegals from south of the border (although they make up a greater percentage in this area) but illegals from Poland and other eastern European countries.

Last week, I happened to drive by a long time client's home and noticed an unmarked van in her driveway along with a bunch of Hispanic men cutting on a table saw and ferrying the cut lumber into his house. I emailed him, asking if she had been happy with us in the past, and if so, why he didn't give us a chance to provide a quote on the job. He emailed back we were too expensive. Yes, when compared to a company had no county license sticker, a van with out of state plates and a group of men who appeared to be illegals.

My insurance companies would drop me in a flash if I was paying men under the table, if I had unlicensed men operating my vehicles, etc. They won't cut me any deals if I explain that my projected sales in 2012 are off by 60%. The politicians I have contacted are of little help. My commercial landlord isn't willing to accept a little less in rent to help out.

I refuse to break the law, or add those who are coming here illegally by hiring them off the books. I am at my wits end. We've taken a reduction in my husband's salary (I am unpaid), reduced our overhead markup -- we are now losing money where we once broke even. I don't know what we are going to do when we are forced to provide health insurance or get fined.

Whose American dream is this?
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:49 AM
 
14,307 posts, read 11,502,060 times
Reputation: 2130
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhBeeHave View Post
My DH and I own and operate a small home improvement contracting business. He has been in the trade since HS and has been doing this for over 35 years. 21 years ago we established our business.

Right from the start we have done everything above the boards -- registration with the federal government for a TIN, with the state for sales tax and UI, etc., with local county and towns for licensing. Add to that registering with the EPA for lead certification. Adding insult to injury, our local county collects a couple of hundred dollars above the licensing fee which goes into a fund -- this is the kicker -- the fund reimburses homeowners (up to a certain amount) for improper/faulty work done by unlicensed contractors!

We spent tens of thousands of dollars each year to maintain commercial liability, workers comp, commercial auto, non vehicular equipment, unemployment and disability insurance. We maintain an office with land line phone (no fly-by-night), workshop and garage. Our employees are e-verified, background checked, uniformed and professional in appearance -- as well as being highly qualified and able to speak and comprehend English.

There are many other small business people like us who are finding themselves in the same situation: We are being undercut by business which are operating under-the-wire, paying day laborers cash -- and this isn't just illegals from south of the border (although they make up a greater percentage in this area) but illegals from Poland and other eastern European countries.

Last week, I happened to drive by a long time client's home and noticed an unmarked van in her driveway along with a bunch of Hispanic men cutting on a table saw and ferrying the cut lumber into his house. I emailed him, asking if she had been happy with us in the past, and if so, why he didn't give us a chance to provide a quote on the job. He emailed back we were too expensive. Yes, when compared to a company had no county license sticker, a van with out of state plates and a group of men who appeared to be illegals.

My insurance companies would drop me in a flash if I was paying men under the table, if I had unlicensed men operating my vehicles, etc. They won't cut me any deals if I explain that my projected sales in 2012 are off by 60%. The politicians I have contacted are of little help. My commercial landlord isn't willing to accept a little less in rent to help out.

I refuse to break the law, or add those who are coming here illegally by hiring them off the books. I am at my wits end. We've taken a reduction in my husband's salary (I am unpaid), reduced our overhead markup -- we are now losing money where we once broke even. I don't know what we are going to do when we are forced to provide health insurance or get fined.

Whose American dream is this?
What is sad is the defenders of illegal aliens won't care one iota about your dilema/story even though you are an American citizen and only trying to put food on the table to feed your own family.

Your story is living proof that illegals indeed do displace Americans on their jobs and yet they will continue to argue that they aren't taking jobs that Americans will do.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:01 PM
 
3,204 posts, read 2,463,250 times
Reputation: 1544
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhBeeHave View Post
My DH and I own and operate a small home improvement contracting business. He has been in the trade since HS and has been doing this for over 35 years. 21 years ago we established our business.

Right from the start we have done everything above the boards -- registration with the federal government for a TIN, with the state for sales tax and UI, etc., with local county and towns for licensing. Add to that registering with the EPA for lead certification. Adding insult to injury, our local county collects a couple of hundred dollars above the licensing fee which goes into a fund -- this is the kicker -- the fund reimburses homeowners (up to a certain amount) for improper/faulty work done by unlicensed contractors!

We spent tens of thousands of dollars each year to maintain commercial liability, workers comp, commercial auto, non vehicular equipment, unemployment and disability insurance. We maintain an office with land line phone (no fly-by-night), workshop and garage. Our employees are e-verified, background checked, uniformed and professional in appearance -- as well as being highly qualified and able to speak and comprehend English.

There are many other small business people like us who are finding themselves in the same situation: We are being undercut by business which are operating under-the-wire, paying day laborers cash -- and this isn't just illegals from south of the border (although they make up a greater percentage in this area) but illegals from Poland and other eastern European countries.

Last week, I happened to drive by a long time client's home and noticed an unmarked van in her driveway along with a bunch of Hispanic men cutting on a table saw and ferrying the cut lumber into his house. I emailed him, asking if she had been happy with us in the past, and if so, why he didn't give us a chance to provide a quote on the job. He emailed back we were too expensive. Yes, when compared to a company had no county license sticker, a van with out of state plates and a group of men who appeared to be illegals.

My insurance companies would drop me in a flash if I was paying men under the table, if I had unlicensed men operating my vehicles, etc. They won't cut me any deals if I explain that my projected sales in 2012 are off by 60%. The politicians I have contacted are of little help. My commercial landlord isn't willing to accept a little less in rent to help out.

I refuse to break the law, or add those who are coming here illegally by hiring them off the books. I am at my wits end. We've taken a reduction in my husband's salary (I am unpaid), reduced our overhead markup -- we are now losing money where we once broke even. I don't know what we are going to do when we are forced to provide health insurance or get fined.

Whose American dream is this?

This is heartbreaking and happening to far too many people. Your past customers may return if thy receive faulty workmanship. In my area people have put out ads letting people know they have a totally legal work force and say it has helped somewhat. But I realize that is an added expense for something people should be able to assume.
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Inis Fada
16,803 posts, read 29,011,820 times
Reputation: 7390
I was just speaking with a local bricklayer. He said he is losing more jobs than ever under similar circumstances. What he has noted is companies in which 1 foreign-born individual has become naturalized, pursues a license and minimal insurance and then goes about hiring undocumented buddies. They give the homeowners breaks for cash, pay the undocumented day laborers cash.

We can't be legal and competitive. We have everything to lose while those working the system have everything to gain.
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:26 PM
 
20,611 posts, read 12,961,111 times
Reputation: 5904
It's easy to say I know but please hang in there.
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:00 PM
 
16,700 posts, read 8,523,747 times
Reputation: 9547
Took pregnant wife to hospital and in the waiting room a painting contractor whose wife was giving birth that day was bragging up his new illegal alien help as if it was a great thing. I was a painting contractor too but he didnt know it. I let him blow on without ruining his day beins his wife was delivering but I never forgot it. Notice I said was.
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Pa
20,310 posts, read 19,424,408 times
Reputation: 6523
This is an all too common theme. The same is true in the drywall trades. These fly by nights will lowball bids because they have advantages. Low wages, they dont intend to stick around more than a year and they don't pay all the taxes like honest contractors do nor worry about insurance. Scumbag home owners will jump on these low ball prices then whine and cry when the sub par they got a deal on begins to come apart. They deserve what happens but the shame of it is the fly by nights escape justice as do the illegals working for them.
Then you have the sympathizers crying that the illegals are the victims that no one is hurt by what they do. WE are all hurt by their crimes.
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:16 PM
 
Location: alexarean
1 posts, read 934 times
Reputation: 10
yah agreed
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Inis Fada
16,803 posts, read 29,011,820 times
Reputation: 7390
One thing which amazes me is that the people hiring the companies which pick up day laborers, don't think anything of letting these strange men onto their properties, inside their homes, etc., where they can see what you own, get an idea as to whether you have young children, when the husband is not around, etc.

But hey, they got the job done cheap.

Day Laborers
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Inis Fada
16,803 posts, read 29,011,820 times
Reputation: 7390
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinman01 View Post
This is an all too common theme. The same is true in the drywall trades. These fly by nights will lowball bids because they have advantages. Low wages, they dont intend to stick around more than a year and they don't pay all the taxes like honest contractors do nor worry about insurance. Scumbag home owners will jump on these low ball prices then whine and cry when the sub par they got a deal on begins to come apart. They deserve what happens but the shame of it is the fly by nights escape justice as do the illegals working for them.
Then you have the sympathizers crying that the illegals are the victims that no one is hurt by what they do. WE are all hurt by their crimes.
We stopped using one drywall guy because he hired illegal Poles. Guess he figured people wouldn't be suspicious of blonde, blue eyed laborers?
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