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The YEA! Experience (Guest Post from the 2018 Shark Tank Winner)

June 4th, 2018 by Member Contributor

The below post is a guest submission from our 2018 YEA! winner, Zoe Bundy!

My name is Zoe, I am a student at Discovery Middle School. About a month ago, I won the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Investor Panel Shark Tank. This was an amazing experience, even just to be part of the class.

Zoe Bundy

Throughout the class, students come up with business ideas, write business plans and financials plans. Then, the students pitch their ideas to “shark” investors, like ABC’s Shark Tank. There, the students will receive funding for their business and many opportunities are made. At the end of the night, one student is selected to represent Fargo as the Saunders Scholar. This was the award I won.

Through the year in YEA! you meet local business leaders who have already started major businesses. The instructors are incredible. Josh Teigen, chief visionary at Protosthetics, was our first instructor. His passion and vision for teen entrepreneurs definitely shines through his teaching. Andrew Abernathey from Abernathey Holdings and Jeff Thomas, president of Cornerstone Bank, were the second instructors. They both know financials well, and helped out with a great deal of work.

In YEA! you experience real-life problem solving, team building and communication skill building. My experience with YEA! has been nothing but awesome. I walked into YEA! with no business idea, but a strong passion for girls in STEM. I walked out of YEA! as the CEO and founder of my own company Brainy Ladies, a website that interests girls in STEM.

On her New York trip

After finding success in Fargo, I was awarded a trip to New York for my business idea, Brainy Ladies. New York was a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience. Sitting alongside other teens who had gone through the same class as you, but from all around the U.S., was incredible. Every idea was creative, new and solving a problem of some sort! New ideas sparked in my mind! The competition was fun. I mean, who doesn’t want to present to a panel of super cool judges?!

The best part about New York was the museum. For dinner the first night, all of the YEA students from around the U.S. went to the Strong National Museum of Play. The museum had all the greatest toys, from Nintendo and Paperboy to superheroes and pinball. The museum was also a great learning experience, just to see all the ideas people had and the great entrepreneurs that shined through their product. Although, pitching my speech to judges was pretty great, the museum takes first place in my book. Altogether, the New York trip was incredible, and I can’t wait to see all the great ideas the future has to offer!

YEA! has taught me just about everything about business I know, and has also taught me that anyone can be an entrepreneur. If you are thinking about YEA! I 150% recommend it! There was never a dull moment! If you are thinking about sponsoring YEA! please do! Near the end of YEA! each student gets a mentor to help them along the way. These mentors are local business owners, employees and other business people who dedicate three hours of their time for 10 weeks. Help me out and let’s make YEA! 2018-19 the best it can be!

-Zoe Bundy

Learn more about the YEA! program, and how you can get involved, HERE.

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Member profile: Western Products

June 1st, 2018 by Amanda Huggett

Say “home improvement” and the old Tim Allen TV show might come to mind for some. But for many around here, it calls to mind a local company specializing in various products and services for their home. That company is Western Products, and this year marks its 70th year in business.

Today, their product offering includes siding, windows, roofing, gutters, soffit and fascia, patio and front doors, cabinets, window coverings and blinds—even spas and patio furniture. And all are installed by a Western Products-approved crew for a high-quality product and a high-quality installation. With their full-service remodel approach and extensive brand offering, their customers can tailor their home improvement experience to fit their personal needs.

General manager Ray Blaha says Western Products loves serving the ‘do it for me’ customer versus the DIYer.

Since the business has been around for decades, they’ve been able to constantly evolve to fit the needs of the people. One example of a revitalized customer experience is a brand-new Design and Experience Center, opened in 2015 where customers can view real-life house facades so they can envision how their products would personalize their own home.

“We strive to be the best in our marketplace, to provide unsurpassed customer satisfaction, to be totally committed to teamwork and to be relentless in the pursuit of improvement,” Blaha said.

An active corporate citizen, Western Products belongs to many local organizations and associations. And of course, they also give back through participating in the school supply drive and planning and implementing free-will donation events in the office to raise money for the charities they support.

“Western Products is constantly working to improve our customer experience, as well as our employee experience,” Blaha said. “We believe that you cannot have one without the other, because happy employees lead to happy customers!”

To mark 70 years in business, Western Products is treating its employees to a picnic, its associate companies a breakfast event and increasing its referral reward program for its customers. “For us, encouraging our employees and letting them know how much good they’ve done is extremely important to running our business, and this picnic is just one small way for us to give back,” Blaha said.

Looking ahead, you can expect the company to stay focused on adapting to its customers’ needs, delivering a high-quality product with reliable service, expanding its offerings to serve even more, and all with a good dose of kindness to boot.

Western Products Rennovation

An abbreviated history

1948 Peter Shuck founds Western Products in Fargo as a lightning rod distributor.

1963 Delivers the first load of steel ever produced.

1972 Begins wholesale distribution of exterior home improvement products.

1999 The Guinness Book of World Records inducts Western Products for the longest piece of seamless steel siding ever applied.

2004 Western Products opens a second location in Bismarck.

2006 Western Products provides siding, roofing and gutters for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

2008 Becomes one of the top 500 remodelers in the America. The business opens a third location in St. Cloud.

2014 Renewal by Andersen presents Western Products the “Showroom Recognition” award.

2015 Opens its fifth location in Jamestown.

2016 Receives Renewal by Andersen’s “Homeowner Satisfaction” award.

2018 70th anniversary.

…not to mention multiple People’s Choice Awards from Design and Living magazine, various dealer awards from Crystal Cabinet year after year, and even more distinctions for its sales growth, product excellence and customer satisfaction from United States Seamless.

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Tax Reform: Meals & Entertainment

May 18th, 2018 by Member Contributor

By Patrick Kautzman, CPA, Partner, Eide Bailly LLP

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the most significant change to tax legislation in 30 plus years. Its impact if far reaching for individuals and businesses alike.

One of the key provisions of the act is the change in deductibility of entertainment, meals and transportation fringe benefits, beginning in 2018.

What changed?

Before tax reform took effect, businesses could (in general) deduct 50 percent of business-related entertainment and meals. Employee meals provided by an employer for convenience on the premises were fully deductible. Qualified transportation fringe benefits were also deductible, even if they were excludable from the employees’ taxable income.

Tax reform has changed a lot of that. Here are a few things to watch for:

  • Entertainment, amusement or recreation expenses, membership dues for clubs and expenses for facilities related to these items are no longer deductible. This takes affect for all expenses incurred starting January 1, 2018.
  • Meals associated with operating a business, including meals during employee travel will stay 50 percent deductible.
  • Employee meals provided by an employer on its premises are now only 50 percent deductible through 2025. After 2025, these expenses are no longer deductible.
  • Qualified transportation fringe benefits and some expenses related to commuting transportation for employees are no longer deductible.

As you can imagine, there are several questions that have come up in relation to these new guidelines. Further, some of the act’s provisions are not entirely clear and further guidance is needed by the U.S. Treasury or the IRS.

Here are a few examples of questions we’ve encountered.

  • You take a client golfing. This entertainment expense is no longer deductible after 2017. The same is true for a baseball game, theater tickets, etc.
  • You take a client to dinner prior to, or after, entertainment. Typically, this is non-deductible as it is part of an entertainment outing. However, if you can clearly separate the meal as a business purpose and the meal cost is not lavish or extravagant, you can take a 50 percent deduction on the meal cost. As a reminder, documentation is always important when you take deductions.
  • You throw an occasional holiday party for your employees. The act has not changed this and you can fully deduct the costs associated with this.
  • Your employees incur meal expenses while traveling on company business. This is deductible at 50 percent, as long as the expense is not lavish or extravagant.
  • You have a meal during a meeting for a service club. The meal itself is deductible at 50 percent. However, the dues for service club membership are non-deductible, given the current wording in the act.
  • You provide your employees transit passes or parking. These items are no longer eligible for a deduction after 2017. This also applies to providing transportation for an employee to commute to work.

Again, these are just a few of the examples we have encountered and each situation truly depends on your unique set of circumstances. It’s best if you have specific questions to consult with your CPA.

So what steps should you take?

Here are a few tips:

  • Look at your bookkeeping procedures for your company. How will you capture expenses differently in 2018 and beyond?
  • Make sure you’re documenting and correctly tracking expenses. This impacts ALL expenses from January 1, 2018 on.
  • Review your expense reimbursement policies. There’s a pretty good bet that some of the language in there needs to change to comply with the new tax reform act.

Ultimately, your course of action will vary based on your particular circumstances as well as updates from the IRS. If you have questions, ask your business advisor or CPA. The new tax reform act can be complicated, but we can help ensure your business is on track and maintaining your books correctly.

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Honoring the 2018 ChamberChoice winners

May 14th, 2018 by Amanda Huggett

It was an afternoon with the stars at last week’s 2018 ChamberChoice Awards luncheon at the Delta by Marriott, where we honored a new group of businesses, non-profits and entrepreneurs in our community. James Cunningham returned as emcee, and Tom Dawson, Dawson Insurance, and Roger Reierson, Flint Group, represented the event’s presenting sponsors.

The organizations and individual receiving honors were:

  • Small Not-for-Profit of the Year: Emergency Food Pantry, Inc.
  • Not-for-Profit of the Year: Great Plains Food Bank
  • Small Business of the Year: Prairie Winds Veterinary Center
  • Business of the Year: Eide Bailly, LLP
  • Young Professionals Best Place to Work: Office Sign Company
  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Tyrone Leslie, Heritage Homes, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Premier Properties, Total Home Services, DT Holdings and RMZ Developments
  • People’s Choice: Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley

The award finalists and winners were selected by a panel of independent judges from the regional business community, who evaluated accomplishments in the areas of business growth, innovation, creativity, community involvement and unique achievements relating to a specific business or industry. The People’s Choice Award was determined from the nominee that garnered the most votes from the public during a two-week online voting period.

Congrats to all of this year’s winners, and thank you to everyone that helped make this event possible.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE PHOTO ALBUM ON FACEBOOK.

Check out some of these Tweets from event attendees!

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Now accepting speaker applications

May 4th, 2018 by Amanda Huggett

Share Your Expertise at Business Training or Women Connect in 2018-19

Get in front of an audience of your peers and business professionals to share your ideas and expertise at either Business Training or Women Connect during The Chamber’s 2018-19 fiscal year. Any employee of a Chamber member business is invited to submit an application.

Applications close May 31, 2018.

What you get as a presenter

Exposure: A room full of engaged business professionals will hear your message

Promotion: We’ll share your session and bio online, on social media and in print to thousands!

Credibility: Position yourself as a thought-leader in your area of expertise

Business Training

The Business Training series enhances the success of our community’s businesses, large or small, through top-notch presentations at affordable prices to provide valuable professional development and strengthen your work force. Topics have covered sales, culture, leadership, customer service and more.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE.

Women Connect

If your topics are edgy, empowering and inspiring, Women Connect wants you! We want presenters who can engage the crowd and share practical advice for navigating life as a professional woman while sharing positive messages you simply can’t get elsewhere. Topics might include work-life balance, how to negotiate, tips on surviving when you feel overcommitted, closing the gender gap in the workplace or managing conflict.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE.

Apply by May 31! Questions? Contact Bobbi Jo at 218.359.0525 or brehder@fmwfchamber.com.

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2017-18 Leadership Community Change Initiatives Unveiled

May 1st, 2018 by Amanda Huggett

This past month, the Leadership Fargo Moorhead West Fargo class unveiled their group projects. These Community Change Initiatives (CCIs) apply and reinforce the skills and insights gained throughout the Leadership program while allowing participants a chance to envision, develop and bring to fruition real and lasting community change in collaboration with others. Having worked on these projects for the past seven months, each group gave a 20-minute presentation to the community as Cass County Electric, offering a first look into their hard work and dedication to helping find a solution to a number of our community’s issues.

Jeremiah Program: Technology Empowerment Initiative

Maggie Aslakson, Holly Hoeschen, Melissa Reichert, Robert Wilson, Craig Bjur, Rhonda Young

The Technology Empowerment Initiative has been established to support a variety of technology needs for the Jeremiah Program Fargo-Moorhead campus. Focused on a mission to transform families two generations at a time, Jeremiah Program prepares single mothers to excel in the work place, readies their children to succeed in school, and reduces generational dependence on public assistance. This year, the Technology Empowerment Initiative donated 11 Surfaces to the Jeremiah Program. Mark your calendars for July 20 for Lunch for a Cause at Rasmussen College, where the proceeds will go to the Technology Empowerment Initiative!

Mentorship Matters

Bethany Berkeley, Matthew Gehrtz, Shawn Paschke, Brenda Johnson, Meghna Roehl, Angie Ryan

While numerous leadership programs and opportunities to network are available in our community, it can be challenging to initiate a formal mentoring relationship, especially when you aren’t already plugged into our community network of professionals and don’t know where to start. The Mentorship Matters toolkit is accessible to businesses and post-secondary institutions throughout the community. The toolkit is a guide to developing and managing a mentorship program to match college students and seasoned professionals and new hires within an organization; help equip students and professionals with valuable leadership insight and soft skills; build the talent pipeline in our community; increase employee engagement; and enhance company culture.

Professionally Paired

Aaron Buffington, Danne Doering, Mike Opat, Angie Berntson, Kirsten Peterson

This group’s goal is to provide an event that invites local non-profits and local professionals the opportunity to get introduced to one another. This offers an opportunity to build new connections and expand networks, help professionals find rewarding volunteer opportunities where they can leverage their skills, and provides non-profits an opportunity to introduce themselves to our local professional community. The first Professionally Paired event was held on April 5 and was a success!

Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/ProfessionallyPaired/.

FMWF Letter Exchange

Alexis Swenson, Christine Bushy, Brett Johnson, Liv Helm, Josh Payne

A pen pal project of sorts, the FMWF Letter Exchange promotes positive community, connection and letter writing through the process of exchanging letters bi-monthly between members in the area. Ultimately, the FMWF Letter Exchange encourages a return to the timeless art of writing to a pen pal. By matching young students with residents of senior living communities, the hope is that their written exchange will inspire joyful connection, a sense of unity in the community, recognition of the value of learning how to send handwritten letters and remembering the power a written letter holds.

The Bundle of Joy Project

Megan Surdo, Carrie Carney, Tifanie Gelinske, Ryan Mullikin, Brandon Chapman, Charlotte Rusch

As new parents are welcoming a baby into their homes, they should be experiencing many positive feelings; joy, excitement and love. However, some parents experience feelings of worry or doubt at not being able to provide for their new family member. This goal is to provide items to first-time parents that will help them care for their child. Bundle of Joy hopes to make the transition into parenthood an easier, more joy-filled experience.

Clean Community Initiative

Dan Cash, Tyler Fischbach, Wes Heyen, Mitch Kudrna, Tony Wolf

Each spring the community is littered with paper, building materials and other trash that has blown in the wind and remained underneath the snow. As it melts, it leaves behind an unsightly amount of garbage that can be unsafe and causes our beautiful parks to look unnecessarily messy. The Clean Community Initiative teamed up with Concordia College during their Earth Week to assist in the cleanup. Concordia students, along with other community volunteers, cleaned areas in two Moorhead parks adjacent to the Red River.

Commercial Recycling Action Group

Laura Caroon, Michelle Enockson, Brian Halverson, Jeff Arntson, Cal Perleberg

The City of Moorhead successfully launched single sort recycling in residential areas in July 2017, increasing monthly recycling pickup loads by 400%. The Commercial Recycling Action Group has been working with Moorhead Public Works to pilot an affordable and convenient single-sort recycling solution for the city’s commercial customers as well. The result of this collaboration will be realized this summer as Moorhead will launch a 6-month commercial recycling pilot program for 30 local businesses free of charge. Goals of this pilot program include evaluating the operational and economic feasibility of commercial single sort recycling in addition to soliciting feedback from the selected participants.

 

Be a part of next year’s class!

Applications are open for the 2018-19 Leadership Fargo Moorhead West Fargo program through May 17, 2018.

Apply online at fmwfchamber.com. For more information, contact Alyssa at aralston@fmwfchamber.com or 218.359.1579.

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Member Profile: Maxwells

May 1st, 2018 by Amanda Huggett

Not many restaurants stand the test of time, but one West Fargo gem has just celebrated its 10th anniversary. Maxwells operates at 1380 Ninth Street in West Fargo, and just two years ago celebrated new ownership.

mike wald maxwells

The building previously was Littlefields and owned by Mike Marcil, where Mike Wald served as executive chef. It was renovated and reopened as Maxwells in April 2008, and sold to Wald and general manager Ramon Sosa.

Max BurgerToday, the duo continues to operate Maxwells as a fine dining establishment unique to the area. “We knew that West Fargo was on the grow, and we felt there was a market there to offer something more high end for the food scene,” Wald said. “No matter what it takes, we want to deliver the best.”

What’s next for the restauranteurs? They’ve discussed some other concepts and locations, but feel that it’s best to stay focused on Maxwells to maintain high standards and monitor trends. Wald expressed how proud they are to be part of the West Fargo community. And while he couldn’t name just one favorite dish, he encourages you to stop by to try the lively menu and sample some of the locally sourced ingredients.

 

“We wanted to bring something classy to West Fargo, but still have a casual cuisine and inviting presence.”

–Mike Wald, co-owner and executive chef

 

Learn more at maxwellsnd.com.

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Tax Reform: Impact on Businesses

April 27th, 2018 by Member Contributor

By Patrick Kautzman, CPA, Partner, Eide Bailly LLP

The recently enacted tax reform legislation – informally called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – represents the most significant overhaul of our tax laws in over 30 years. Now, businesses large and small are considering the numerous changes that may affect them. The following outlines some key business-related provisions included in the act.

Corporate Tax Rate
The top corporate tax rate was reduced to 21 percent on January 1. The 21 percent rate is a “flat” tax that will apply regardless of a regular corporation’s taxable income; the progressive rate structure imposing a maximum 35 percent corporate tax rate is eliminated. Personal service corporations will also be subject to the 21 percent rate.  For a fiscal year regular corporation, with a tax year ending in 2018, the new 21 percent rate will be “blended” with the rates in place prior to January 1, 2018.

Pass-Through Income
For tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, the act generally allows a new deduction for individuals, trusts and estates of 20 percent of the domestic qualified business income generated by certain sole-proprietorships and pass-through entities (partnerships, S corporations and LLCs). Depending on taxable income, the deduction may be subject to a limit based on wages paid by the business or wages paid plus a capital amount, and certain service business activities may not qualify for the deduction. This deduction is slated to expire after 2025 like most other individual tax provisions in the act. In light of the tax rate changes, pass-through owners may want to re-evaluate the pros and cons of their current business structure. 

Limitations on Net Interest Expense
Deductions for net interest expense are limited to the sum of (1) business interest income, (2) 30 percent of a business’s “adjusted taxable income,” and (3) floor plan financing interest for the tax year. Disallowed business interest expense is carried forward indefinitely. Adjusted taxable income is a specially defined term, and the definition changes after 2021 in a manner that will potentially make the limitation’s impact more significant. Businesses with average gross receipts of $25 million or less are exempt from this provision. In addition, certain businesses in the real estate and farming businesses can elect for the interest expense limitation to not apply.

Net Operating Loss Deductions
The net operating loss deduction for losses arising in tax years beginning after 2017 will be limited to 80 percent of taxable income. The act generally eliminates the carryback of net operating losses arising in years ending after 2017, but permits an indefinite carryforward.

Full Expensing of Business Assets
Qualifying business property, generally whether new or used, acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017, and before January 1, 2023, will qualify for 100 percent expensing. Under the act, the expensing amount is phased down over four years: 80 percent for 2023, 60 percent for 2024, 40 percent for 2025 and 20 percent for 2026. For some types of property with long production periods and certain aircraft, these dates are extended one year.  In addition, the act increases the section 179 expensing limits. It also expands the definition of section 179 property, for property placed in service after 2017, to include tangible personal property used in furnishing lodging (such as furniture and beds in hotels and apartments) and certain improvements to non-residential real property (such as roofs, HVAC property, fire and alarm systems and security systems).

Cash Method of Accounting for “Small” Businesses
The act increases the gross receipts threshold for regular corporations and partnerships with regular corporation partners (other than tax shelters) that can use the cash method of accounting to $25 million. In light of this change, affected taxpayers now using the accrual method of accounting may want to consider a change to the cash method. In addition, under the act, this increased threshold for gross receipts can simplify accounting for inventories and complying with the sometimes difficult uniform capitalization rules.

Excess Business Losses
Business losses in excess of business income of taxpayers other than regular corporations after 2017 (and before 2026) may be limited under the act. Net business losses in excess of $250,000 ($500,000 in a joint return) will not be deductible in the current year. Excess losses will be carried forward and treated as part of a taxpayer’s net operating loss in the subsequent year. This limitation could apply, for example, to losses from sole-proprietorships and pass-through entities (including farm losses).

An Informed Approach
Businesses have much to consider in the changing tax landscape. It is important to discuss your situation with your tax advisors and consider the best options moving forward to take advantage of available opportunities.

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The Current State of Tax Reform

April 2nd, 2018 by Amanda Huggett

Guest article by Eide Bailly LLP

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act marks the largest tax act in more than 30 years. The bill has far reaching implications for individuals, corporations and businesses of all sizes. On March 6, Eide Bailly LLP sponsored a special Eggs & Issues to help us break down the implications of tax reform.

The event featured Adam Sweet, principal in Eide Bailly’s National Tax Office, who discussed the impact of tax reform on businesses. “Businesses large and small need to consider the numerous changes that may affect them in relation to tax reform,” said Sweet.

Business Implications

Sweet highlighted several of the key business-related provisions, including:

Corporate Tax Rate

As of January 1, the corporate tax rate has been reduced to a flat 21%. This change replaces the previous tiered rate structure that had a maximum tax rate of 35%.

Pass-Through Income

The act introduced a new deduction for individuals, trusts and estates, known as Section 199A. Sec. 199A provides a deduction equal to 20% of domestic qualified business income generated by certain sole-proprietorships and pass-through entities (partnerships, S corporations and LLCs).

“In light of these tax rate changes, pass-through owners may want to re-evaluate the pros and cons of their current business structure,” he said.

One of the key components of Sec. 199A is the definition of “qualified business income.” This income is made up of income and expense items of a qualified trade or business during the year. However, a qualified trade or business excludes “specified services” such as the performance of services in the field of health, law, accounting, financial services, etc. Sweet was quick to mention that this will be a key point to watch as the IRS looks to flush out definitions related to tax reform in the coming months.

Another point regarding pass-through income are the limits on the Sec. 199A deduction. For taxpayers with taxable income above the “threshold amount,” the deduction can be limited in relation to W-2 wages and, for some businesses, investment in depreciable tangible property.

Full expensing of business assets

Qualifying business property acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017, and before January 1, 2023, qualifies for 100% expensing, regardless of if it’s used or new. The act phases down expensing amounts over four years from 2023 to 2026.

The act also increases the maximum amount a taxpayer can expense under section 179 to $1,000,000 and increases the phase-out threshold amount to $2,500,000, for taxable years beginning after 2017. This includes tangible personal property used in furnishing lodging and certain improvements to non-residential real property.

Meals and Entertainment Expenses

The act eliminates deductions for entertainment, amusement or recreation expenses and membership dues for clubs “organized for business, pleasure, recreation or other social purpose.”

“This provision will affect a number of businesses. It’s important to review employee reimbursement policies and set up accounts to capture limited amounts,” Sweet said.

Employer provided eating facilities will be subject to the 50% deduction limitation through 2025. The act also disallows deductions for qualified transportation fringe benefits and certain expenses to provide commuting transportation for employees.

Additional Implications

Sweet was then joined by a panel of speakers to discuss other implications of tax reform. Patrick Kautzman, partner in Eide Bailly’s Fargo office, discussed the impact on individuals, including:

  • The standard deduction is increased to $24,000 for married filing a joint return and $12,000 for single filers.
  • Unreimbursed medical expenses will continue to be deductible. The Act lowered the adjusted gross income limitation to 7.5 percent for 2017 and 2018.
  • Tax reform repealed the itemized deduction for state and local taxes, effective after 2017, with the exception of a $10,000 annual allowance.
  • The deduction for interest on a personal residence is now subject to lower debt limitations. The home equity debt interest deduction is “suspended” from 2018 through 2025, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the interest on that debt is not deductible. The key element in making the determination of interest deductibility appears to be the use of the loan proceeds. Interest on debt to acquire, build or substantially improve a personal residence, meeting the debt level limitations, should still be deductible, regardless of whether the loan is called a mortgage loan or a home equity loan (or line of credit). Debt secured by a personal residence and used for a purpose other than to acquire, build or improve the home, like buying a car or paying for a vacation, would not be deductible. And, acquisition debt incurred on or before December 15, 2017, is grandfathered and is not subject to the lower debt limitations introduced by the act.

Ava Archibald, Co-Director of Wealth Transition Services for Eide Bailly, Sarah West, CFO for Roers, and Dan Kadrmas, President of TrueNorth Steel, also joined the panel to talk about tax reform considerations and implications.

The moral of the story

The new tax reform act is incredibly complex. All the panelists encouraged attendees to take tax reform into consideration as they plan and not be afraid to reach out for help.

“As you go forward, be careful in planning and talk with your CPA about what next steps you should be taking in relation to tax reform,” Sweet said.

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Announcing the 2018 ChamberChoice candidates

March 27th, 2018 by Amanda Huggett

The following businesses and individuals successfully submitted applications to become candidates for the 2018 ChamberChoice Awards. We hope to see you at the luncheon as we announce the winners!

2018 ChamberChoice Luncheon
Friday, May 11 | Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Delta by Marriott, 1635 42nd Street South, Fargo

Be sure to vote for the People’s Choice Award online April 23 to May 4 at fmwfchamber.com.

And the 2018 candidates are…

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

  • BC Contracting
  • Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Premier Properties
  • Cornerstone Bank
  • Eide Bailly LLP
  • Gate City Bank
  • Heritage Homes, LLC
  • KW Inspire Realty
  • Microsoft
  • Midco
  • Office Sign Company
  • PRO Resources
  • RE/MAX Legacy Realty
  • Terracon Consultants, Inc.

ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

  • Karla Wolford, Elevate Human Potential
  • Tyrone Leslie, Heritage Homes
  • Jeff Shipley, KW Inspire Realty
  • Neil Blanchard, Profit Pros
  • Zac Paulson, TrueIT

NOT-FOR-PROFIT OF THE YEAR

  • Connections
  • Fraser, Ltd.
  • Great Plains Food Bank

SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

  • Dakota Carrier Network
  • Elevate Human Potential
  • Luna Fargo
  • Maxwells
  • Michael J. Burns Architects, Ltd.
  • Prairie Winds Veterinary Center
  • Rapid Refill Ink
  • Reach Partners, Inc.

SMALL NOT-FOR-PROFIT

  • Assistive
  • Dress for Success Red River Valley
  • Emergency Food Pantry, Inc.
  • Freedom Resource Center for Independent Living, Inc.
  • HERO, Healthcare Equipment Recycling Organization
  • Jail Chaplains
  • Junior Achievement
  • Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity
  • Legacy Children’s Foundation
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley
  • The Arts Partnership

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS BEST PLACE TO WORK

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota
  • Eide Bailly LLP
  • Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Hair Success Salon & Day Spa
  • KW Inspire Realty
  • Microsoft
  • Office Sign Company
  • Rape & Abuse Crisis Center of Fargo-Moorhead
  • TrueIT
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