Former California company is happy with its relocation to Poteau
Monday, January 10th 2005, 12:09 pm
By: News On 6
An Oklahoma company is making a name for itself in the world of motorcycle accessories. But it hasn't always been an Oklahoma company.
News on 6 anchor Craig Day went to Poteau to find out why Ghostbrackets moved to our state and to learn more about the companyâ€™s phenomenal growth.
Greg Eidschun is adjusting well to life in a new location, a new town. Six months ago, Eidschun moved his company from California to Poteau, Oklahoma. "I think it is probably, from a strategic point of view within the company, it's probably the best move we could have made. Our margins are much higher and we're a lot happier and more of a solid company.â€
That company is called Ghostbrackets incorporated. They don't manufacturer motorcycles, but they build a product that makes the bikes better. The company holds a patent for a quick detach saddlebag system used by Harley Davidson and most all other major motorcycle makers. "Every single bike has a different bracket because the fender struts on every bike are completely different."
Ghostbrackets produces fittings for 45 different models of motorcycles. The company is growing at a rate of 200% each year. Much of that growth is because of Ghostbracket's move to Oklahoma. The company now pays much lower workers compensation rates. They are saving nearly half on their shipping costs because of Oklahoma's central location. "The California environment right now is just one of those where there, we're being taxed. Workers compensation taxes and all kinds of different expenses that small companies like us really couldn't afford to take on."
Poteau won out over a half dozen other communities nationwide, Eidschun says mainly because of quality of life issues. The bulk of Poteau's economy. Oklahoma's economy for that matter is made up of small businesses.
Area economic experts say they are starting to see an increase in the number of those small manufacturers relocating to Oklahoma. It's a trend they hope continues. Chamber director Bonnie Prigmore: "It means we can keep more of our young people here in the community. Right now we have so many of them that can't find a job, a good quality job." Poteau mayor Jeff Shockley: "If we have say 10 small businesses, employing 20, at 200. And three, four or five even go out of business; weâ€™ve still got a good rate of people working."
People are working at Ghostbracket because of the steady increase in motorcycle ownership nationwide. According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, the motorcycle market has shown growth in 12 straight years. Now many motorcyclists will carry Ghostbracket's quick release saddlebags, full of newfound Oklahoma pride.
Eidschun picked Poteau for several reasons. Good schools, friendly people and because Poteau was named in a book to be one of the 100 best small towns in America. The book cited the climate, scenery and low taxes and real estate costs as factors that make Poteau attractive.
If you would like to find out more about Ghostbrackets, check out their company website.