Stimulus Helps Weatherization Company Weather Economic Storm
By Amy Lester, Oklahoma Impact Team
OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma company's sales are up, thanks to federal stimulus dollars. M-D Building Products manufactures weatherization products to make homes and businesses across the country more energy efficient. So far, business has increased 15 percent or $3 million over last year.
"We're blessed to be in Oklahoma and we're blessed to be in this business," said Larry Sanford, Executive Vice President of M-D Building Products.
Sanford believes tax credits, extended by the stimulus package, are the reason for the boost in business. Homeowners can receive a 30 percent tax credit for the cost of energy efficient improvements made with weatherization products. The maximum credit is $1,500. M-D's benefiting from that since it sells weatherization products in retail stores all over the country.
"We're a seasonal business, at least on the weather strip side we are and that season lasted a lot longer than it has typically and it's actually been larger," said Plant Manager Derek Turner.
The company expects business to grow even more. The federal government's pumping $5 billion stimulus dollars into weatherization programs across the country. Community Action Agencies have just started weatherizing homes and will continue work until March 31, 2012. Since M-D sells a lot of the products they use, the company anticipates additional increases in sales.
"In this economy, it's difficult to plan, it's difficult to forecast, but we're optimistic this is going to mean some incremental business for us going forward," said Executive V.P. Larry Sanford.
The company has 500 employees and so far, there have been no layoffs.
"I'm very thankful like most people. I need this job, you know you have to pay the bills," said Whitney Gayer, Graphic Designer.
If business continues at this pace, M-D Building Products may be an example of a rare case, a manufacturing company that does not lay off employees during these tough economic times.
"The employees are our most important asset and it's very comforting to know at this time we can keep all of our employees around," said Executive V.P. Larry Sanford.