October 21, 2016 | last updated October 21, 2016 5:08 pm
2016 Connecticut Family Business Awards: 3rd Place Winner

Acme Wire Products Co. Inc.

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
Acme Wire Products employees pose in front of the company’s sign at its Mystic headquarters.

Headquarters: Mystic (town of Stonington)

Industry: Manufacturer of custom metal fabrications

Year Founded: 1970

Founder: Edward J. Planeta

Generation Currently Running Company: Second

No. of Full-Time Employees: 50

No. of Part-Time Employees: 3

Family Members Currently Employed at Company: Mary Planeta Fitzgerald, President; Edward Planeta, Jr., VP Sales; Michael Planeta, VP Manufacturing

Company Website: www.acmewire.com

Q&A

How do you remain competitive in the market?

As business costs rise and competition becomes more fierce, Acme Wire Products works to provide a high-quality product and personal service and responsiveness to our customers. Acme Wire Products is not providing a commodity product, we are making custom-fixtured wire and metal components. We have invested in technology, equipment upgrades, employee training and cross-training and look for areas where we can more fully meet the needs of our customers by expanding our fabrication capabilities.

Cost is an important consideration but we try to provide the best overall value to our customers, whether it is in the form of custom-packaging solutions, a variety of finishes or a weekly shipping schedule.

As a company, we listen to our customers and provide them with a solution to best meet their needs.

How do you instill your family values in your employees?

We take the approach of communicating family and company values through the way we act, speak and conduct ourselves. We stress the traits and values that are important to us and what it takes to be successful on personal and professional levels. We do not instill, demand or require that employees follow a particular path.

The family values that we emphasize are stated in a portion of our corporate mission statement:

• We have a commitment to our employees to provide fair wages and benefits and to respond to their concerns in a timely and efficient manner.

• We will manage the business profitably so it continues to provide value and employment opportunities.

• We will conduct business in an ethical manner and contribute to our local community in the areas of improving basic needs and in the form of sponsorship to direct and further the manufacturing talents and aptitude of our local workforce.

How can Connecticut improve its family business climate?

The best way for the state of Connecticut to improve its business climate for family-owned businesses would be to eliminate or reduce the estate and gift taxes.

Currently, Connecticut has both a standalone estate tax and it also has a gift tax and it is the only state in the nation with a gift tax.

The gift and estate taxes bring in a relatively small amount of revenue each year, and over time the estate tax has brought in a diminishing proportion of tax revenue. In fiscal year 2014, the tax brought in only 1 percent of total general fund revenue.

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