White Plains man­u­fac­turer finds new, larger Wal­dorf home

State, lo­cal in­cen­tives keeps CHUTES in Mar yland

Maryland Independent - - News - By DAR­WIN WEIGEL dweigel@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @somd_bized­i­tor

CHUTES In­ter­na­tional, a long­time Charles County busi­ness, of­fi­cially opened the doors on a larger head­quar­ters and man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity Thurs­day in Wal­dorf, and Mary­land De­part­ment of Com­merce Sec­re­tary Mike Gill was there to cel­e­brate the state and county’s re­ten­tion of the busi­ness.

CHUTES was be­ing courted by the state of Delaware and was look­ing in that di­rec­tion when the Charles County De­part­ment of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment of­fice stepped in, along with the Mary­land De­part­ment of Com­merce, to of­fer tax cred­its and for­giv­able loans to keep the com­pany here as it ex­panded. Ul­ti­mately, CHUTES re­ceived $155,000 from the state with a match­ing amount of $32,500 from the county in for­giv­able loans — if the com­pany re­tains a cer­tain num­ber of jobs for more than 10 years, the loans don’t need to be re­paid, owner Hadi Bous­tani said.

The com­pany also is re­ceiv­ing tax cred­its for jobs cre­ated — $3,000 for the first 15 jobs and $1,500 for jobs af­ter that — over 10 years, he said.

Bous­tani said he wasn’t look­ing to move, but Delaware was mak­ing it an at­trac­tive op­tion. “Boy, did we feel pop­u­lar,” Bous­tani told the rib­bon cut­ting gath­er­ing, ref­er­enc­ing the sweet deals Delaware was of­fer­ing. “But boy did our plans change af­ter meet­ing [Charles County De­part­ment of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment deputy di­rec­tor] Mar­cia Keeth.” Com­mer­cial real es­tate de­vel­oper Harry Shasho, who was re­cently ap­pointed to the Mary­land Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion, in­tro­duced him to Keeth.

Keeth set about find­ing a way to keep CHUTES in Charles County and helped Bous­tani nav­i­gate the sys­tem to make it pos­si­ble for the com­pany con­tinue to grow here.

“We went and met with them and lis­tened,” Keeth said af­ter the cer­e­mony. “And we worked with them to make sure they’re a Charles County com­pany for­ever.”

“Our em­ploy­ees are the heart and soul of our busi­ness,” Bous­tani said, ref­er­enc­ing why he wanted to stay in the county. “They are the best as­sets CHUTES In­ter­na­tional has to of­fer.”

Gill, who met Bous­tani at his for­mer White Plains fa­cil­ity a year ago, told him he was glad to be back and that it was one of the signs that the state was on the right track to re­tain and de­velop busi­nesses.

“It’s like a new dance step for us — Mary­land be­ing the best at busi­ness,” he said, ref­er­enc­ing the new busi­ness growth ef­forts un­der Gov. Larry Ho­gan’s (R) ad­min­is­tra­tion. “We’re on the right path. We have a ways to go, but we’re going to get there.”

The com­pany, which man­u­fac­tures, rents and sells refuse chutes, out­grew its 15,000-square­foot White Plains fa­cil­ity and is now op­er­at­ing in a ren­o­vated 45,000-square­foot build­ing at 33 In­dus­trial Park Drive in Wal­dorf. The move and ren­o­va­tion to­taled $1.2 mil­lion and has re­sulted in an ex­pan­sion from 45 jobs to more than 70, so far, dou­bling man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pac­ity. Bous­tani said the com­pany’s growth would con­tinue.

The com­pany, which Bous­tani be­gan in Forestville in 1989, started man­u­fac­tur­ing its own heavy plas­tic refuse, linen and re­cy­cling chutes 12 years ago in White Plains. CHUTES ad­min­is­tra­tive man­ager Heidi Wood said the com­pany out­sourced the man­u­fac­tur­ing be­fore then but took it in-house to im­prove qual­ity con­trol and de­liv­ery times.

The com­pany sells and rents ex­ter­nal chutes used in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try for get­ting de­bris down to refuse bins. Those are both plas­tic and steel, though the steel chutes — de­signed by CHUTES — are man­u­fac­tured by an­other com­pany. Per­ma­nent in­ter­nal chutes for garbage, re­cy­cling or linen — of­ten de­signed into high rise build­ings, hospi­tals and ho­tels — are man­u­fac­tured and in­stalled by CHUTES lo­cally and by a net­work of deal­ers na­tion­wide. The com­pany also mar­kets a line of trash com­pactors and bag­gers which they also de­sign and make.

“We re­ally love that you chose to stay in Charles County,” Charles County Board of Com­mis­sioner’s Pres­i­dent Peter Mur­phy (D) told Bous­tani at the cer­e­mony.

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