These Collingwood companies are succeeding on the world stage

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October 27th, 2017

[NEWS Oct 26, 2017 by John Edwards  Collingwood Connection]  Local firms provide products, services to countries around the world.

As Collingwood continues to grow, so does its reputation worldwide. The community is home to a host of companies that have a strong reputation on the world stage.

Brandon Houston moved to Collingwood in 2015 and took over Switch Video, a company that makes 60-90 second marketing videos for companies around the world, including Facebook, Bayer, BMW and HP.

Houston said about 70 per cent of their business is based in the United States but they work with companies in 16 countries including Ireland, England, Russia and Australia. He said it’s important to grow the international side of their business, especially when there is uncertainty over the U.S. economy. “You don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket,” he said.

Martin Rydlo, director of marketing and business development, said the municipality spotlights the organizations that do business worldwide, especially when they meet with federal, provincial and county officials. “When they do come into the area, we can highlight those,” he said.  “We believe it’s for businesses, it’s so incredibly important, especially for a place that attracts tourists from around the world, to think globally, not locally in the way the market.”

Rydlo said some local retailers are starting to ship worldwide. “As tourists come here, they can continue buying, regardless of whether they are in the United States, Europe or Australia,” he said.  “Those small businesses have an opportunity to be doing business internationally too.”

Houston said it’s important for local businesses to know they can succeed on the global market. “I think there is a big educational piece to that,” he said.

While small businesses look to grab a foothold in the global market, MacLean Engineering has been producing mining equipment for more than 40 years. Stuart Lister, director of marketing for MacLean Engineering, said they produce equipment for companies on six continents. They employ 400 people in Collingwood, Owen Sound and Barrie and have offices around the world including Australia, Peru and Mexico. Lister said it’s important to offer great customer service to stay competitive. “When sell specialized underground mining equipment, you need to be above ground where your customers are underground,” he said. Lister said company founder Don MacLean came to the area more than four decades ago and the company has remained largely because of the lifestyle it provides. “Now, it’s a quality of life thing and attracting good engineering talent,” he said.

Photo Credit: John Edwards. The Connection

Photo Caption: Stuart Liter of MacLean Engineering shows off a piece of equipment made by the Collingwood Firm.

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