Small Business Saturday is a relatively new “holiday” that has gained quite a bit of momentum over the past few years. The holiday falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and was conceived to promote shopping at smaller, locally owned businesses so they were not to be forgotten in the mayhem of the busiest shopping time of the year.
While many may not consider Flex-Safe® USA to be a small business, we most certainly are! And while we may not fall into the normal shopping habits surrounding Small Business Saturday, we thought this would be a good time to share our story and how this particular small business has gotten to where we are today.
Tom Gruenfelder, president of Flex-Safe® USA purchased the rights to the Flex-Safe® Barricade in 2012. Ironically, while the inventor of the Flex-Safe® Barricade resided in Boston, Massachusetts when Tom purchased the company, he originally grew up in Penfield, New York—about ten miles from where the current operations of Flex-Safe® USA is based out of. It’s great to know that the product has “come back home”, now being produced and sold in the Rochester, New York area.
Originally marketed as “fire scene safety equipment”, Tom’s interest was instantly piqued. Two of this three children had been involved as first responders in some way over the years and he was all too aware of some of the challenges that were involved in keeping both first responders and motorists safe when it came to scene safety. When he found out that the original inventor was getting ready to retire, Tom jumped at the opportunity to help continue keeping emergency responders safe and purchased the company and rights to the Flex-Safe® Barricade.
There have been some minor changes to the product since its inception but the one thing that will always the same is that every barricade is made here in the United States with parts and services sourced locally. Taking the “small business” aspect a step further, every barricade that you see was hand crafted and assembled right here in Victor, New York—the town where Tom lives! Even the Flex-Safe® carry cases made locally by ABVI (read more about that here). “Made in the USA” is an understatement!
Remember this season that supporting small businesses in any way that you can is imperative. Especially this year when many small businesses are being forced to close their doors.