CustomChemPack - In the News
All Bottled Up in Amarillo
by Jim McBride

(Amarillo, TX) Graham Towerton's persistence is starting to pay off.  Towerton, owner of G&M Global Enterprises, 1207 NW 1st Street in Amarillo recently won a $75,000 grant in West Texas A&M University's Enterprize Challenge to develop his bottling and chemical supply business.  A few years ago, he won a $10,000 small-business grant but needed more working capital. He tweaked his business plan, impressed the challenge judges and finally won the $75,000 grant.

The Australia native worked in the U.S. chemical industry, selling chemicals to oil and gas companies.  He saw an opportunity and set up shop in Dumas. Later, he decided to buy out a former partner and expand his business horizons.  Towerton is now putting his grant money to work and will buy new equipment to establish the company's foundation.

G&M Global's 7,500-square-foot factory makes plastic bottles and can blend or bottle industrial chemicals for customers. It also makes its own labels and sometimes subcontracts with a next-door business, D&L Plastic Screening, to label its products. The company's plastic bottle manufacturing line starts with recycled plastic scraps and plastic beads. The plastic is melted, formed into a tube and a puff of air molds the plastic into a bottle shape. The bottle then rolls off the line past a blue gas flame that burns off excess oils that would keep labels from sticking to the bottles. Employee Spike Caldwell trims off the excess, and the bottle is ready to be shipped or filled.

Michael David McGuire, a California marketing consultant, said he's exploring possibilities in eastern European markets for Towerton's products. McGuire said many European or U.S. companies seeking business opportunities in former Soviet-bloc countries find work sites polluted with World War II or Soviet-era contamination. He thinks some cleanup products Towerton offers would be big sellers overseas. McGuire praised Amarillo's economic development network and said it helps create new businesses. "This is one of the sharpest areas in the country in terms of this nurturing up-and-coming companies," he said. "It's really, really smart and done better at least than anything I've seen, and I've worked in over 800 towns across North America and Europe."

Towerton said he appreciates the business coaching he received from West Texas A&M University's Enterprise Network and especially direct financial assistance from the Enterprize Challenge. "In terms of getting government support for a business like this, I could never envision in my lifetime having this type of support financially directly from a government organization in Australia. It just wouldn't happen."


Jim McBride is the business writer for the Amarillo Globe-News in Amarillo, TX.  To see more articles by Jim McBride... please visit:
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