Local businessman breathes sigh of relief after 'fiscal cliff' deal
Few local businesspeople had more reason to be relieved by the recent deal to avert the "fiscal cliff" than Keith Tillage. His company, Tillage Construction, does a lot of work on military bases and for government agencies, and would have been hit hard by the automatic spending cuts known as a sequester that were postponed as part of the deal. Adding to the stress, Tillage recently opened a second office in Dallas. "It would have been like having all your money on the pass line and crapping out," Tillage says with a laugh. "It would have been devastating. Of course, I had some plan Bs and plan Cs." Tillage attended a White House briefing about the fiscal cliff with President Barack Obama and about 14 other small business owners shortly before Tuesday's deal was reached. He says he walked out of that meeting feeling confident that a deal would be achieved, but notes that lawmakers have more work to do. The postponed spending cuts will come up again in March, and Congress may manufacture another crisis over the federal debt limit. Tillage was named the U.S. Small Business Administration's 2012 Minority Small Business Person of the Year for the region, and his company has made the Inc. 5000 list of America's fastest growing companies. Read more about him here. —David Jacobs
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