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Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, May 27th, 2011

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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One Ping

  1. […] Grays Har­bor Paper: 1993–2011 […]

    Ping from Morning Rundown for May 30th, 2011 :: May 30th, 2011 at 9:37 AM