Ozarks workers to receive bonuses, benefits thanks to tax changes

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Big companies like Walmart and Bank of America have been handing down bonuses to employees thanks to the tax changes. However, local business owners are optimistic, too, following the President's State of the Union Tuesday night, particularly when it comes to tax relief.

"We've got a lot of work. We're actually hiring a few guys right now to try to keep up," Jeremy Roussell, a concrete worker, said.

Roussell is in a business that is hiring, something company president Mary Beth Hartman says she could not have imagined just a few years ago post-recession.

"I'm certainly not a very big business and certainly very local, and he (President Donald Trump) has put money back into my business, into my hometown, into my region, into my employees pensions and 401k," said Mary Beth Hartman, president of Hunter Chase & Associates in Springfield, Mo.

The tax changes for businesses Trump championed have employers large and small adding jobs, buying new equipment, and passing along the benefits to their employees.

"I've been able to offer my long tenured employees a week of vacation, five days of vacation, they're getting plenty of overtime, they have job security," Hartman said.

"A lot of the people really like it. I know I used mine back in the spring when we had our new baby. I got to stay home with them a little bit more," Roussell, who works for Hartman, said.

Hartman said she believes the biggest difference is the confidence she says she and other business owners are taking from the new policies highlighted in Trump's speech, what she calls a more business-friendly environment, with plenty of opportunity.

"It's just a more positive confident business environment that we have, and it's exciting," Hartman said.

In addition to all the companies reinvesting, at least one local institution also voiced appreciation for tax changes. College of the Ozarks announced the school would distribute bonuses to all employees thanks to the tax changes.