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Grays Harbor Paper: 1993-2011

Grays Harbor Paper, which has for years supplied the Harbor/100 paper that we at NPI use for our everyday printing needs, announced yesterday that it is shutting its doors permanently and laying off two hundred and forty people in the process.

GHP’s president, Patrick Quigg, released a statement attributing the shutdown to the following major factors:

  • The continued high price of raw materials;
  • Lower than expected sales of high-value products,
  • Accompanying cash flow considerations

“A recent major refinancing effort undertaken by GHP did not materialize,” the statement adds, lamenting the decision to shut down.

“I want to acknowledge the continued support of the stakeholders in our community and the industry, especially our loyal employees, without whom we would not have made it this far,” said Quigg.

GHP’s shutdown will be adversely felt in Grays Harbor and Hoquaim, where it was based. The mill contributed to an estimated eight percent of the City of Hoquiam’s general fund, and was one of the area’s most important employers.

GHP’s sustainable business practices won it numerous accolades over the years, as well as a loyal following. The company summarized the way it did business on its websites and its cartons with a simple, catchy alliteration: People, paper, planet.

As the Associated Press noted in its story about the closure:

Grays Harbor Paper was frequently cited in documentaries, television shows and national conferences about “green” industries that worked. It provided recycled paper to Nike, the City of Seattle, Microsoft, REI, the World Bank and other organizations. In 2009, the Legislature passed a bill requiring several state agencies to use at least 30 percent recycled papers; Grays Harbor Paper won most of those contracts.

Quigg says he is willing to sell GHP’s assets, including the entire plant, to an investor who would be willing to restart operations.

We hope somebody steps forward to revive the company. We’d like to see Grays Harbor Paper endure, and be able to look back at yesterday’s news and say it was only a setback, rather the end, for a great environmentally-focused Washington company and its dedicated employees.

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  1. By Morning Rundown for May 30th, 2011 on May 30th, 2011 at 9:37 AM

    […] Grays Harbor Paper: 1993-2011 […]