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Canyon Plastics touts growth with city help

Santa Clarita support helped expansion, owner says

Posted: June 13, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 13, 2012 2:00 a.m.

An employee works inside the quality-control department at Canyon Plastics, Inc.

 

While stories abound of companies leaving California to do business in other states, Kirit Gajera, president and CEO of Canyon Plastics, Inc. in Santa Clarita, has a different story to tell. 

Fourteen years ago, Gajera moved his family from Texas, where he was already a successful businessman, to Santa Clarita.

Gajera traveled more than 12,000 miles to places like Atlanta, North Carolina and New Jersey, in search of a city that offered a high quality of life for families and a strong business climate. 

Surprisingly, none of the cities were a fit until 1996, when while traveling to Santa Clarita on a family vacation, Gajera found himself a new home.

“Santa Clarita wasn’t initially on my list of cities in which to relocate,” Gajera said.  “But once I was here, I looked around at the business community, the beautiful environment, quality schools, and opportunities for growth and knew this would be our home.” 

In 1998, Gajera moved his family to Santa Clarita, and shortly after relocation he purchased Canyon Plastics, Inc. 

 

State program boost

Since his acquisition, the company has grown as a result of strong leadership and a program called the Recycling Market Development Zone (RMDZ), he said.

When Gajera purchased Canyon Plastics, Inc., the company was housed in a 10,000-square-foot facility on Avenue Scott, where the company employed about 12 people.  Things were going well, but Gajera found he was using the company’s cash flow to reinvest in the operation.

Then, in 2006, he attended a meeting to learn more about the Recycling Market Development Zone program. He had heard about the program for years but didn’t think his company would benefit. What initially seemed like a complex program, proved to be the boost Gajera needed to expand Canyon Plastics, Inc.

“Business incentive programs can seem complex at first,” said Jason Crawford, economic development manager for the city of Santa Clarita.  “But it is within the best interest of business owners to learn more about programs like the Recycling Market Development Zone and how they can help with business expansion and growth.”

What may seem a complex program at first, Crawford said, could be the infusion a company needs to reach the next tier of success. 

Overseen by CalRecycle, the Recycling Market Development Zone was created by the state. The program provides low-interest loans to eligible businesses that either use a percentage of secondary, post-consumer or post industrial waste material to manufacture products, or to companies that reduce the waste resulting from the manufacturing of a product. 

Canyon Plastics designs and produces quality blow molded and injection molded products for the aerospace, medical, agricultural and pharmaceutical industries.

The company uses new materials to manufacture products and for applicable clients uses secondary, post industrial waste material, in addition to a commitment to reduce waste from manufacturing.     

 

Expansion, growth

In 2006, the company qualified for a $1 million loan as a result of the Recycling Market Development Zone, which allowed him to expand into a larger building and purchase equipment. 

And, earlier this year, Gajera qualified for a second loan, which helped with the financing of equipment, leasehold improvements, and working capital.   

In December 2010, Gajera purchased a 110,950-square-foot building in the Valencia Commerce Center.  This year, he plans to increase staff from 86 full-time employees to 126 full-time staff, adding 40 positions in sales, quality control and operations among other departments.

Gajera admits that he was initially skeptical about the Recycling Market Development Zone program, but will be the first to share that without the program, his company may not be where it is today. 

“I am so appreciative of the support I’ve received through the years from the state, the city of Santa Clarita, and Los Angeles County,” he said. 

“Programs like the Recycling Market Development Zone give small and medium size companies an opportunity to grow, expand, and become large economic contributors.”

“More importantly, the program supports companies like Canyon Plastics, Inc. that are doing everything possible to operate a clean, nonhazardous, environmentally responsible company, which is something every city across the nation can benefit from,” Gajera said.  

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