Workers at Belvidere’s Fiat-Chrysler assembly plant are in the money, big time. Fiat-Chrysler saying that all 5,150 of their Belvidere plant employees will each receive a $2,000 bonus. That’s 10.3 million extra dollars being pumped into the local economy.
“It has a profound impact,” said Belvidere Mayor Mike Chamberlain. “[It’s] more spendable income evolving into purchases in the Belvidere area. Gas, food, whatever it is.”
In a statement, Fiat-Chrysler said the $1.5 trillion tax cut signed recently into law by President Trump was the reason for the bonuses. Some nearly 200 other large companies have done as well. Now, local business owners believe this could mean a boost to the Belvidere economy. The Shortline Sushi Bar owner Heather Steines hopes it will impact her bottom line.
“We love seeing community members benefit from anything,” said Steines. “But, we see The Shortline as an asset to the community. So, we’d love to see some of those dollars come back here but we’d want to see it spent in Boone County anywhere.”
Molly’s Attic owner Michael Vaughan says if those employees spend that money locally it benefits everybody.
“That keeps money in the area,” said Vaughan. “Then those people, because they’re from the area, are spending their own money into the economy. It helps out everybody, it’s a win-win.”
In the new law, the corporate tax rate was cut to 21% from 35%. Vaughan adds when companies receive those type of breaks it has a domino effect. “Anytime that they can get a break and help their local employees out, it helps everybody out.”
Fiat-Chrysler says the bonus payments will be made to employees in the second quarter of this year.