Glass company expands with a little help

The name on the building is familiar, but inside it looks brand new. Summerside-based Silliker Glass has expanded its operation to the Borden-Carleton industrial park.

Summerside-based Silliker Glass has expanded its operation to the Borden-Carleton industrial park.

The business' new 30,000-square-foot operation features state-of-the-art machines for cutting, washing, edging, laminating and tempering.

Owner Ron Silliker explained the mainstay family business simply outgrew its Summerside location.

"We've been looking at expanding for a couple of years. Lately we've been moving more and more toward the wholesale and manufacturing end of things, so it led us to a point where we were at the end of what we could do in the Summerside location," Silliker said.

"We couldn't expand anymore and the building was packed solid full of stuff, so we needed more space and more equipment to continue to expand."

Silliker Glass has essentially become a 100 per cent wholesale company over the past several years.

The business employs 19, with the likelihood of more positions opening up as expansion continues.

The federal government has invested over $400,000 in the expansion, while the Province has kicked in $500,000.

Borden-Carleton Holdings, the community-based development corporation which owns the business park, added an additional $200,000.

Silliker said his business will benefit from the new site's proximity to the Confederation Bridge.

"Probably 80 to 90 per cent of our business is in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, so being closer to the bridge is definitely a bonus," he said. "The availability of this building was also a major factor there."

The company could also corner a previously untapped Atlantic market with its new capability to make tempered glass. The glass is safer because it shatters into small pieces when it's broken, and can be found in windows of vehicles and surrounding many NHL hockey rinks.

"Tempered glass has mostly been brought into the Atlantic region by Ontario or Quebec owned companies... and the delivery time was anywhere from two weeks, when it's good, to six to eight weeks when it's bad," said Silliker. "We're hoping to fill that up and keep with a two- to three-week delivery at the worst-case scenario."

600450 Glass company expands with a little help
Date: 28 January 2011

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