AMHERST – An East Amherst company first is set to grow again following a $1-million federal investment.
Cumberland-Colchester MP Bill Casey toured Access Labels on Friday and announced the repayable contribution through ACOA’s Business Development Program on behalf of minister Navdeep Bains.
“This gives us an opportunity to expand and respond to the demands of our future companies as we grow the business,” Access Labels owner Paul Carr said following the announcement. “This will allow us complete an addition to our building, to renovate a building next door that we recently purchased and it will allow us to purchase a new press.”
Carr started Access Labels in 1993 with one employee after leaving Eastern Paper in the industrial park. He has grown the business through several expansions and now employs 32 people. The expansion will include four new employees.
Access Labels prints full-colour pressure-sensitive labels, tags, header cards, coupons, magnets and signage. The company’s customer base includes some of Canada’s largest companies such as McCain Foods, Apple Valley Food, DIGI Canada, Saputo and Bonté Foods.
Several years ago, Carr purchased the pressure sensitive label manufacturing division from Farnell Packaging in Dartmouth and moved the operation to Amherst. He also completed an expansion in 2008 that added 4,200 square feet.
His new warehouse will be approximately 7,200 square feet.
“This is our third expansion in 10 years,” Carr said. “The staff here has been the key to our success. I’m just one guy.”
Casey said he has known Carr for 36 years and is impressed with his commitment to growing his business.
“He took over this business when a major industry in the industrial park was going to shut it doors. He has built it up from a very small business to a very significant business,” Casey said. “The Access Labels team has true entrepreneurial spirit, adopting forward-thinking production processes and focusing on employee development and satisfaction, while meeting rigorous quality assurance program standards. The Government of Canada’s support to scale-up this company’s operations reaffirms our commitment to businesses that are significant economic contributors in their rural communities.”
Casey also credited Bains for supporting small businesses in small, rural communities.