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Tart Lumber Co. hosts Republican pledge

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Sterling. Va., lumberyard Tart Lumber played host to 13 congressmen, led by House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, Sept. 23 to unveil the Republican Party’s “Pledge to America.”

The 45-page booklet is reminiscent of Newt Gingrich’s 2004 “Contract with America” and outlines the party’s goals for reforming the federal government.

Tart Lumber owner Craig Fritsche said he was honored his business was chosen as the backdrop of the event.

“I was blown away,” Fritsche told Home Channel News. “I was excited; I was ecstatic. I’m happy to be a part of it because I do believe the party needs to put a stake in the ground and say what you’re voting for.”

Fritsche said he was asked to participate in a press conference Aug. 4 to explain what increasing taxes would mean to small businesses.

“I thought I gave a good talk, but nobody covered it anywhere,” he said. “It didn’t make the news anywhere, but somebody on the Hill must have seen it and liked the way I presented myself and some of the points I made.”

Fritsche said he thinks his business fits the profile of the kind of business the Republican party is trying to help. The business has been struggling since the downturn, but Fritsche has held a commitment to keeping his employees.

“We’re trying to keep everyone on the payroll, even though we’re losing money, because we believe in our people,” he said. “And so we have a good story to tell, and certainly raising our taxes would not be a good thing to do right now.”

Before presenting the pledge, Fritsche and some other small-business owners sat down with the congressmen for a 30-minute roundtable discussion about the issues concerning small business.

“They asked us how we felt, how was business, what we’d like to see,” he said. “I made some notes, and the No. 1 thing I was trying to push was, ‘Don’t increase taxes during a fragile recovery.’ If GE is going to pay 35%, why should I be paying 39.6%?”

And while the Congress members didn’t make any purchases during their time at his shop, he is satisfied with the outcome.

“The pledge may not have everything in it that I would like, but at least it’s a good step in the right direction,” he said.

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Inside the home

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Consumer research from The NPD Group connects the dots of appliance ownership in its most recent report, “Inside the Home: Appliances We Own & Use.”

According to the report, ownership in the major appliance category over-indexes among those who also own their home. However, homeownership does not fully predict who owns these products, nor who has recently purchased them. While one in four homeowners indicate having purchased a major appliance in the past 12 months, one in five renters have as well.

Here are some of the key findings: 

• Small kitchen electrics: The most owned and purchased products are often considered traditional countertop appliances, such as toasters, coffee makers, electric can openers and toaster ovens.

• Home environment appliances: The products used most often are those within the water filtration category, followed by upright vacuums. Close to half of upright vacuum owners are using their product once a week or more often.

• Hair appliances: Hair straightener owners are most likely to own other hair care appliances. Three-quarters of hair straighteners owners also own a curling iron or brush. The likelihood of a curling iron/brush owner to own a straightener is far less likely at 46%, however, a significant figure.   • Americans who have a refrigeration filtration system are least likely to own a pitcher, pour-through water filtration, or a faucet-mount device — just 18% and 15%, respectively.

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True Temper sale completed

BY HBSDEALER Staff

New York-based Castle Harlan announced it has completed the sale of Ames True Temper to Griffon Corp. for $542 million.

“Our five-year plan for Ames True Temper Inc. was to expand the business, increase market share in the U.S., create international exposure and broaden product lines for distribution through our pipeline. We have done that and are pleased with the results. We wish the company continued success as part of the Griffon family,” said Castle Harlan co-president William Pruellage.

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