NFIB Member Profile: Guy Chemical in Somerset, Pennsylvania

Date: February 29, 2016 Last Edit: March 02, 2016

Guy Berkebile’s parents owned an oil distributorship.  As a boy he worked cleaning the family
business offices. Instead of buying cleaning products he mixed his own products
over a sink. Having that entrepreneurial DNA and a can-do attitude could be why
the business he began 21 years ago, Guy Chemical in Somerset Pennsylvania, is
so successful today.

Guy tells a great story of how he got started.  While working in international sales, the
Penn State grad was asked by an Egyptian customer whether he could provide
silicone produced in the U.S.  He told
the customer, yes, if you can wait four months to get it.  The young salesman arrived back in
Pennsylvania, leased a 3000 square foot space, mortgaged his home, took a loan
and bought some cheap equipment. 

The first three years were rough going.  In the first year the company made $34,000 in
sales but spent the same amount.  It wasn’t
until year four the payoff came when sales exceed 2 million and 11 people were

Today Guy Chemical employs nearly 100 people and just nearly
doubled its plant size to 70,000 square feet.  The company makes many household products sold
at Walmart or Lowes with other companies labels. About half of the business is
formulating products and the other half is packaging substances in squeeze
tubes or cartridges.  Forty percent of
the business is international.

Guy Berkebile’s advice to other small business owners is
this, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew but believe you will succeed.” Guy
has been an active NFIB member and we thank him for that!





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