I regret to announce that one of Richmond's flagship green businesses, Vetrazzo, will be relocating to Georgia. Vetrazzo manufactures high-end countertops made of recycled glass. Vetrazzo is located at the rehabilitated Ford Assembly Plant.
The circumstances were brought about by the effects of the global recession on construction related businesses. In the face of repeated assertions from the Richmond Chamber of Commerce that Richmond’s lack of “business friendly” policies are driving businesses out of town, I thought it was particularly interesting what James Sheppard, CEO and co-founder of Vetrazzo had to say to Mayor McLaughlin about the business climate in Richmond and the positive working environment that the City of Richmond fosters:
It's with a heavy heart that we will be announcing to the marketplace that Vetrazzo will be leaving Richmond and the Bay Area. We recently received an offer to sell the business that is very favorable to our investors. Unfortunately, for the City of Richmond, the new owners plan to integrate our manufacturing facilities with theirs in the State of Georgia in order to achieve the economies of scale demanded by the building products sector today.
Olivia and I are both very grateful for all that you, Jeff, Tom and the rest of the City have done to create a positive working environment for our growing business. The relocation has nothing to do with the business climate in the City. Quite the contrary. We believe your administration reflects the shift in values that is needed in our society today; a strong recognition that business is the backbone of prosperity but that it must be done in a responsible manner that recognizes people and planet, in addition to profit.
It's been our sincere pleasure contributing, in whatever small way we have, to the revitalization of Richmond. We wish you success in the years ahead.
CEO and Co-Founder
We’ll miss you too, James, but best of luck in your new beginning. I understand Georgia can use some green businesses.