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After being in business for more than a half century, Bill Morrison, Owner of Seaboard Industrial in Sydney is proud to have served Cape Breton with safety equipment and personal protection gear and supplies. But more than that, Bill, a realist and a practical man, is quick to point out that diversification has taken on a whole new meaning for him and his business located off Kings Road in Sydney.
“When I started here in 1972,” he said, “we were heavily involved with the coal mines and the steel plant. Naturally, we, like others, saw the decline of both industries coming but certainly did not anticipate total shutdown. Fortunately however, prior to the closure of both major employers, we started to diversify so that we could survive as a supply business.”
Bill states that branching out to other, albeit smaller industries and businesses, such as schools, hospitals and even Joe Public, kept Seaboard Industrial on the map.
“We had prepared for life without the heart and soul of our business and to this day I keep a picture above my desk of one of the coal mines that says ‘Gone But Not Forgotten.”
And ironically enough, Bill’s experience with the mining industry brought Xstrata to his door. Xstrata was the company that brought the Donkin mine back to life. Now the Donkin Mine is owned by Kameron Coal Management Ltd, a division of the Cline Group in the USA.
“We sell high quality products,” says Morrison, “and we have an experienced, dedicated team of twelve people who take real pride in serving our customers. We were a big supplier to Tesma, Protocase and Sydney Tarponds Cleanup when they were up and running.
But it’s the men coming in to buy gear for work before they leave their families behind and head out West, that really get to Bill.
“We have guys coming in all the time to buy their work clothes, boots or safety gear to take with them for the jobs out West. It’s a really bittersweet sale for us because while we are thrilled to be able to provide these guys with the equipment they need, we really wish they were working here on the island. For now, we have to content ourselves with being able to provide them with a reasonably priced, quality product to keep them safe on the job.”
Seaboard Industrial - a proud company, a knowledgeable staff, a strong leader, a contributor to the growth of the new Cape Breton economy.