Leading Chutes Manufacturer Expands in Charles County

Published Tuesday, August 25, 2015 11:00 am

CHUTES International, a leading chutes manufacturer and distributor, is expanding its Charles County operations. A Charles County employer since 1989, the firm outgrew its 12,000-square-foot White Plains-based plant. In fall 2015, CHUTES will move to a new, 45,000-square-foot facility located at 33 Industrial Park Drive, Waldorf.  The additional space will allow CHUTES to run two lines of manufacturing instead of a single line and minimize products being outsourced.

“We want to go from $10 million to $25 million in sales in the next five years, “said Heidi Wood, administrative manager and corporate secretary for CHUTES. “To do that, we’ll need to have a growth in employees for sales, marketing and product development.”

“CHUTES’ decision to expand in Charles County is a testament to the cooperation between the county and the state to provide businesses with resources they need to grow and thrive,” said Peter F. Murphy, president of the Charles County Board of Commissioners.

When CHUTES expanded its manufacturing to include internal chutes, the firm quickly outgrew its current facility. Through a collaborative effort among the Department of Economic Development and the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development (DBED), CHUTES secured funding from multiple sources, including a conditional loan, gap funding from Charles County, and tax credits for remaining in Charles County.

CHUTES delivers quality debris removal systems to general contractors, architects, and building owners.  The company started producing heavy duty steel chutes out of the need for higher quality chutes than were available. Because of the demand for their quality product, they soon added durable plastic chutes and internal chutes for trash and laundry, as well as compactors for recycling and odor control systems.

“Working with our partners in Charles County, we are ensuring that a growing company like CHUTES has the support and resources it needs to continue to expand and add jobs here in Maryland,” said DBED Secretary Mike Gill.

Based on the state’s and county’s terms, CHUTES had to guarantee 15 new jobs in Charles County for the length of the loan and invest in the new building. CHUTES received assistance from the Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MDMEP), which brought in high-level manufacturing expertise and worked with the company to develop a strategic plan for growth. The MDMEP helped CHUTES evaluate new space options in Charles County and design the manufacturing portion of the new building.

CHUTES has always been connected to the community and had a sense of family. The company’s employee base resides mostly in Charles County which, along with financial considerations, affected their decision to stay. “Charles County is also a great location in being able to reach Washington DC, Baltimore, Virginia, and Montgomery County without having to pay astronomical real estate costs and taxes,” said Wood.

“We’re thrilled that CHUTES decided to stay and expand in Charles County,” said Darrell Brown, director of the Charles County Economic Development Department. “The company is a representation of the type of companies we want to attract.  The decision to remain in Charles County affirms that this is an attractive location for businesses within the D.C. metro area.”

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The SBDC offers training and counseling services to local businesses at all stages of growth. From the earliest stages of business planning, to preparing for business sale or exit strategy, the SBDC provides a range of resources.

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