Volume 14, Issue 6 - November/December 2010

Newsworthy

President Signs Small Business Jobs and Credit Act into Law
President Obama signed the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act into law in late September. The bill is designed to help small business owners access private capital to finance expansions and hire new workers, and would reward small business investors—in a long-term attempt to help small businesses compete with large corporations.

Industry groups, such as the International Window Film Association, feel that the law could be beneficial for small companies, but have concerns.

“While this should provide funds to the long list of companies waiting for loans (two to three year backlog due to lack of funds) thru the Small Business Administration, it remains to be seen just how much credit, and under what terms, will be made available to very small companies with ten or fewer employees. Just as the TARP package and AARP stimulus did not result in increased lending to small businesses and individuals except for default mortgage reworks, this may or may not have any impact on funding availability to small businesses like window film dealers and distributors. It may take as long as four to six months before there is any clarity to these questions.”

The Small Business Lending Fund Act will establish a $30 billion fund to boost lending to small businesses looking to expand their operations by providing additional capital to community banks, according to information from Rep. Barney Frank (D – Mass.).

Consumer News
Fla. Attorney General Issues Window Film Warning
The Florida Attorney General, Bill McCollum, has issued a warning to Florida residents—about window film protection. In a release from his office, McCollum stated that consumers need to be aware that window film has not been approved by the Florida Building Code for hurricane protection of a residential structure.

The Attorney General’s office claims Florida window film companies were reportedly saying that homeowners could receive an insurance discount by installing window film. Since window film has not met the regulations for approval, insurance companies may not offer such discounts.

New Questions Are Raised by Social Media and Websites
The window film industry has experienced new cases of mis-information on the World Wide Web in the recent months.

In July, Window Film magazine published a story about dubious “information” published on the Internet that was purportedly written by a “home professional.”

The page says, “Thinking about window film as a way to buff up your windows’ efficiency? If your windows are already low emissivity (low-E), then don’t waste your time, window film won’t make much of a difference … And remember this: films are hard to remove, and because they can heat up the glass they may damage your dual-pane windows.”

However, the website doesn’t note that this is an “Ask the Pro” section. To the consumer’s eye it just looks like factual information.

The information is sourced as “courtesy of the U.S. Green Building Council.” After contacting the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) we received a statement about the origin of the article.

“The information came from USGBC’s GreenHomeGuide.com’s ‘Ask a Pro’ section.  The Ask a Pro section is really just a blog where home professionals post answers to questions that come in.  The responses are not the opinion of USGBC and do not reflect any position of USGBC. As far as USGBC’s position on window film, we don’t have an official one but I can tell you that window film is a valid strategy to achieve various LEED credits and points,” says the statement.

In addition to this, a question on the Internet on Angie’s List was brought to Window Film magazine’s attention. The question, asked by independent consultant Roger Linville (who is listed on Linked In as being employed by glass manufacturer PPG until 2009 and is now an independent consultant) asked, “Our front windows face southwest. We have no shade trees in the front yard, so we are expecting the front rooms to get hot this summer. We also have condensation between the panes. We plan to replace the glass, but I am getting conflicting advice. Should I get low-E glass and rely on it to block the infrared heat waves, or get clear glass and have an infrared-reflective film applied? Which will give me the best results?”

The answer to Linville’s questions came from Todd Overpeck at Glass Doctor who recommended low-E glass and not film. Within the response to the question it states, “Overpeck says adding tinted film to a clear glass window is a lower-cost alternative, because it blocks the sun, but does not stop the heat. Since the film doesn’t stop the heat from escaping, you don’t get the energy savings and your home is colder in winter,” he says. “Another advantage to low-E glass is that it’s clearer than the reflective film.”

It was surprising that after working for PPG for over 28 years as the marketing communications manager Linville didn’t know the answer.

Company News
Riverside Sells Commonwealth; CLC/SunTek Partners with Two New Owners
The Riverside Co. in Cleveland, which purchased SunTek Holding Co. (Commonwealth Laminating and Coating Inc. [CLC]) in 2006, has sold its interest in the company. Jennifer Phillips Shorr, CLC vice president of sales and marketing, told Window Film magazine that the company has now partnered with two new investors, Transportation Resource Partners, which is associated with the Penske Automotive Group, and Fenway Partners.

“These two firms will replace Riverside and put CLC in a financial position to double in size over the next three to five years,” says Shorr. “CLC/SunTek’s current management team, including Steve Phillips, our president/chief executive officer, will all remain in place. This is a very exciting time for all employees and we will continue to focus on providing the trade with innovative and competitive products, as well as exceptional customer service.”

“Riverside played a crucial role in a remarkable expansion at CLC that allowed us to take market share and prepare for the future in the midst of one of the worst economic downturns in modern history,” says Steve Phillips. “Riverside’s capital, support and appetite for growth allowed us to expand our production capacity while increasing our number of distribution centers and broadening our manufacturing capabilities. Riverside has been an exceptional partner.”

Shorr adds, “The Riverside Company has been the principle investor in CLC/SunTek for the past four and half years. They have done a terrific job supporting our strong growth and expansion in both North America and other parts of the world.”
Stephen Dyke, Riverside partner, adds, “CLC was a great company when we invested in it in 2006, and we’re leaving it in an even better position today. Our efforts to increase revenues by investing in growth at CLC have paid off. Today, CLC offers more products to more markets while still retaining its hard-earned reputation for exceptional quality and value. The company is very well positioned to continue its strong growth trajectory for years to come.”

The announcement notes that under Riverside’s stewardship, CLC made capital investments that significantly boosted the company’s production capacity and invested in a new dyed film line that improved product quality and strengthened its competitive position. The company expanded its international presence during Riverside’s ownership period and expanded its product line, including flat glass applications in residential and commercial buildings.

People News
Solutia Names New President and General Manager of Performance Films Division

Solutia Inc. has named Mike Donnelly as president and general manager of its Performance Films division. Donnelly most recently served as the president and general manager of Solutia’s Technical Specialties division and replaces Ray Kollar who had only been in this role with Solutia since May 2009. While company officials confirmed that Kollar is no longer with the company, they declined to provide further details surrounding the personnel change.

Donnelly joined Solutia as part of the Flexsys leadership team in connection with Solutia’s 2007 acquisition of Flexsys, where he had been an integral part of the business’ growth and performance since its inception. He brings nearly 40 years of manufacturing, business and leadership expertise to Performance Films and will continue to be based at Solutia’s global headquarters in St. Louis.



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