PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - The government's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has made way for big news at Huntington Ingalls Industries.
The company announced Thursday that it will give employees a bonus, increase voluntary contributions for qualified pension plans and grow charitable contributions.
In addition, the company said the tax reform will also allow a $300 million increase of investment into major capital projects to strengthen the core shipbuilding business.The majority of the 38,000 employees with the company will get an extra $500.
Since Ingalls Shipbuilding is so intertwined into the South Mississippi community, the increase is likely to have a big business impact as well.
The news has several business owners in downtown Pascagoula excited about the potential for growth. Most said that 50 percent or more of their business comes from Ingalls employees.
"It's pretty big. It's good news, actually," said Robynn Rankin, owner of Bridget Blue boutique. "Because I know the past couple of years have been really slow all over town. I think it will help a lot. I mean, we've seen businesses on the street shut down because of the down turn of the economy."
Ariel Hebert will see benefits from two sides.
She owns Itty Bitty Boutique and Monogramming, while her husband works at Ingalls.
"I feel like that that would be a little extra cash in our hands to do a few renovations we want to do at our house," she said, "Or, you know, to support other local businesses."
Each employee should get the check by the second week of March on their normal payday.