For manufacturers in Arizona, California, and Washington, 2012 was a turning point. Austerity triggered by the recession had begun to ease, and growth and investments began to steadily increase.
“In 2012 we noticed an uptick, especially on the commercial side,” says Matt Thomas, marketing manager at NanaWall Systems in Corte Madera, California. “A year later the residential side started falling into place.”
At Seattle-based LightArt, a 3form company, a shift in strategy to add sales staff and a product line to its existing portfolio of custom work brought the company five consecutive years of growth. “We started to build in a simpler and more cost-effective way and made a product line that took off,” says Ryan Smith, president and creative director.
Prospects for manufacturers in Arizona followed suit, but a little later. “It started to turn around about 2013 and 2014, then accelerated at all manufacturing companies across the state,” says David Garafano, executive director of RevAZ, a program of the Arizona Commerce Authority.
LaCantina Doors in San Diego had survived the lean times by redesigning products and establishing new lines. “Immediately after the recession ended we were growing exponentially,” says Lee Maughan, vice president and general manager.
Looking ahead, California’s businesses seem poised for growth. In Red Bluff, Sierra Pacific Windows is expanding by an acquisition. “When we acquired Hurd Windows, we really started building momentum,” says Stu Brown, director of products and services. Other Golden State manufacturers stand to benefit from an incentive related to buying equipment. “We took the sales and use tax down from 7.5 percent to 4.19 percent,” says Sid Voorakkara, deputy director of external affairs for the governor’s office of business and economic development. And legislators have extended the tax break through 2030. The future looks bright.