J.D. Ewing with Committee Chair Roger Williams

J.D. Ewing, Chairman and CEO of COE Distributing and active member of NAW, testified today before the House Committee on Small Business at a full committee hearing titled “Main Street Realities: Examining the Current Economic Landscape in America.”

Ewing, third-generation owner of COE and chairman of NAW’s Institute for Distribution Excellence, offered his company’s perspective on the wide array of challenges small businesses are facing in the current U.S. economy, including rising costs and supply chain disruptions, looming tax increases, and compliance costs with new regulations.

Ewing testified that while the country has recovered from the pandemic, many of the same supply chain challenges distributors faced then are beginning to reemerge, with the average cost of shipping a container increasing over 3 times in the past 90 days. Additionally, Ewing spoke to the looming threat of small business tax cuts scheduled to expire at the end of 2025 and overly burdensome Federal regulations, including a recent incident at one of his distribution centers with an unreasonable OSHA officer which cost his company over 100 hours and more than $50,000, ultimately resulting in an investigation and termination of the officer.

“Family-owned distributors like COE Distributing have been disproportionately hit by the growing anti-business attitude in Washington,” said Brian Wild, Chief Government Affairs Officer of NAW. “Whether it’s inflation, high interest rates, access to capital, or overregulation, Congress must act to help mitigate the economic challenges arising from the current administration. At NAW, we are continuing to petition all levels of government to exercise common sense and restraint, including with the recent launch of the NAW Legal Policy Center, a force designed to challenge overreaching regulations and defend free enterprise. Now more than ever, we must ensure that our member companies, particularly small businesses, can thrive in a free and fair market.”

COE Distributing is a national office furnishings wholesale distributor and contract manufacturer based in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. COE employs over 120 individuals with distribution centers in North Carolina and Texas in addition to their distribution center and headquarters in Southwest Pennsylvania.

Read Ewing’s full testimony here.

NAW is one of America’s leading trade associations, representing the $8 trillion wholesale distribution industry. Our industry employs more than 6 million workers throughout the United States, accounting for approximately 1/3 of the U.S. GDP. 250,000 wholesale distribution companies operate across North America, including all 50 states. Learn more at naw.org.

Media Contact: Meghan Cieslak, [email protected].