UPDATE: Local company uses tax code savings for employee bonuses

UPDATE: Local company uses tax code savings for employee bonuses

SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - Atlantic Packaging Corporation, headquartered in Wilmington, is using savings from the new tax bill to reward it's employees. In a news release, Atlantic says it is giving $1,000 bonuses to nearly 1,000 of its employees. The workers will receive the bonus payment by Feb. 15.

"This was just a unique opportunity where we got a pretty significant tax benefit come our way and we felt like this is the right time and the right signal to send to our employees, that 'we want to invest in you guys'," said Wes Carter, Atlantic's president. "Tenure of employee has a lot to do with our ability to be unique in the marketplace and so we wanted to reward our employees in that way."

Carter said the company has long had a profit-sharing plan, but felt this was the right thing to do in addition to that benefit. Although the tax savings will not come until the end of 2018, he says the bonuses are being given to employees now to acknowledge the impact.

"We are a Sub-S Corporation," Carter said in the release, "and although the new tax bill did not reduce our taxes as aggressively as it did for C-Corps, some of whom are our competitors, the tax reduction will have a real impact and we want to share the savings with our hardworking and loyal employees."

Atlantic, which has 16 locations in the US, distributes packaging materials and operates manufacturing facilities for paper converting, printing and labeling products. Its original location is in Tabor City, where more than 300 employees work, making it Columbus County's largest non-government employer.

Carter said he and his father Rusty, the CEO of Atlantic, talked about the amount of the bonus and they wanted it to make a difference in the lives of employees, whether they be in rural areas like Tabor City or in metro areas like Wilmington or Raleigh.

"We knew that $1,000 was real money to all people," he said. "We wanted something that would have an impact on their families, to pay off investments or whatever it may be. I had a lot of employees who reached out to me who were appreciative, and we had a lot of neat stories about how they were going to invest that money. Paying off tuition for their children was one. Paying off some debt they had on credit cards, stuff like that."

According to Rusty Carter, the bonus payouts will extend beyond US borders.

"The part of the new tax code dealing with repatriation of offshore earnings has additional benefit for our company, given our non-U.S. operations," Rusty Carter said in the release. "Accordingly, we are also paying this bonus to our 150 offshore employees. We are probably not unique in this situation nationwide, but we are likely unique for privately held North Carolina companies."

"We're constantly investing in our company," Wes Carter said. "Our philosophy is 'if you're not growing, you're going in the other direction'.  So, we're always looking to add more capabilities, to add more square footage. But yes, we are actively looking at some capital equipment investments that we plan to make. We have some new facilities that we plan on investing in and opening in the next several years, so it's a very exciting time for us."

The company was founded in 1946 and began as a small town newspaper where founder W.H. Carter won a Pulitzer Prize in 1952 for his editorial campaign against the Ku Klux Klan.

The Tabor City Tribune is still published weekly.

Copyright 2018 WECT. All rights reserved.