NFIB/Texas Leadership Council Member Profile: Andy Ellard of Manda Machine

Date: December 01, 2015

An NFIB Member since 1989, the team at Dallas-based Manda Machine has been manufacturing machine parts since they were virtually kids.

When was your small business founded?

In 1950 by our grandparents, Joe and Mary Manda.

How did you become a small business owner?

We’re a precision machine shop owned by three brothers (Andy, Richard and Todd). We manufacture machine parts for various customers. We worked here as kids and through high school and during college breaks. Then we bought it from our parents in March 2002. Each of us had different paths. When I graduated from high school, I went to college at Texas A&M. After that, I worked in California for a couple years. It was a natural interest, absolutely; being involved in the family business.

How many employees do you have?

Eighteen employees including me and my brothers.

Why did you become an NFIB member?

My dad had joined previously but I got involved and more active when I found out our legislator was a talking about the gross margins tax, or payroll tax. It was at that time when I joined and became a member of the Leadership Council in the early 2000s.

In what ways has NFIB helped your small business?

Over the years I’ve found that they’re really strong advocates for small businesses at the state and national levels. They pay attention and keep track of things and watch out for our backs.

What’s the biggest challenge that faces Texas small business owners like you? Because we are a precision manufacturer, our biggest challenge is finding skilled employees.

In our specific industry, our biggest challenge is finding skilled employees. As a whole, as a small business, it’s the always changing (nature) of government on taxes, regulations, things like that. There’s nothing consistent. It takes away from your ability to service your customers and take care of your employees when you’re having to be concerned about tax implications and regulations. Also, healthcare costs are huge and they’ll continue to go up.

How are you tackling that challenge in your own business?

We hire and train. As far as taxes go, just make sure we elect the proper people. Take advantage of NFIB, the information they give us about candidates, voting records things like that.

What advice would you give to new NFIB members to make the most of their membership?

Take advantage of the discount offers and call the state or national office if you have a problem. They can lead you to the right place. The biggest thing is if you have a problem or some situation going on, contact them, either their national or state office. They’ll get you the right answers or get you to the right place to get your answers. They’re a good resource.

What could help your industry and business grow?

If the government would stay out of our way and also develop a low, stable tax structure. Ultimately, that’s what it is. Let us operate our business. Figure out a low, stable tax structure that’s fair and equitable for everybody.

If Texas lawmakers could grant you one legislative wish for your business, what would it be?

Reduce the business personal property tax. That’s a tax we pay on our equipment and inventory regardless of whether we’re profitable or not. It’s not the best way to do it.

The business conditions are such that we’re not running all the machines all the time. (The business personal property tax) is not based on profitability or sales, just the value. And that’s on top of the business property tax, your building structure.

Do you have a small business hero or mentor that helped shape your entrepreneurialism?

My father. Growing up, we watched how he worked and took care of his employees and treated them like family. He always worked here and bought it from his parents.

He had integrity and all those things. (Andy’s parents are T.C. and Mary Jo Ellard).

Related Content: Small Business News | Economy | Texas

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