QualiChem, an international manufacturer of water treatment chemicals and metalworking fluids, has been recognized as the Small Business of the Year by the Regional Chamber of Commerce in Roanoke, Va. The selection criteria for the Small Business of the Year award are increased sales, employee growth, staying power, innovation and contributions to the community, according to the Chamber.
There were 11 business category awards given. QualiChem took the award in the manufacturing category and then went on to be the overall winner among the 91 companies nominated in the region. QualiChem has achieved more than a 60 percent revenue growth over the last five years. The company employs 77 people, 52 of them in its Salem, Va., facility. QualiChem also has offices in Europe and China, with distributors around the world.
Three years ago, QualiChem re-invested in a major expansion of its headquarters, laboratory and manufacturing facility in a move to boost capacity and enhance customer service. The company increased its square footage by 70 percent, including a new state-of-the-art 45-seat training and conference center.
QualiChem has close working relationships with area high schools and universities to recruit and train students who have an interest in chemistry or manufacturing for internships and full-time employment.
“We have sustained a steady year-on-year rate of growth over the past 15 years and we expect the steep growth curve to continue for the foreseeable future. Our growth is driven by our management team’s focus on new product development, customer service and support for our distribution partners,” said QualiChem President Glenn Frank. “We make a substantial investment in R&D to keep on the cutting edge of technology in our core businesses and have a program of continuous improvement in quality, delivery times and product consistency.”
“The awards selection committee was impressed by QualiChem’s story of finding their niche markets and going from a small operation with mostly local sales to one of the fastest growing cutting and grinding fluids manufacturers in the world,” said Chamber President Joyce Waugh.