SGCI Communications closes doors

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A local marketing firm has closed its doors, leaving a dozen people in the community out of work.

SGCI Communications, based in downtown Sackville for the past 15 years, shut down operations last Thursday.

Owner Blaine VanSnick said on Tuesday that the closure is "absolutely devastating" but was necessary after a year-and-a-half of economic turmoil.

"The economic downturn was ultimately the reason to close the business because there was simply no hope of a turnaround in the near future," he said.

A local marketing firm has closed its doors, leaving a dozen people in the community out of work.

SGCI Communications, based in downtown Sackville for the past 15 years, shut down operations last Thursday.

Owner Blaine VanSnick said on Tuesday that the closure is "absolutely devastating" but was necessary after a year-and-a-half of economic turmoil.

"The economic downturn was ultimately the reason to close the business because there was simply no hope of a turnaround in the near future," he said.

VanSnick said out of the six major clients his firm had been working with over the past few years, four had either relocated or re-organized while the other two downsized over the past 18 months. These clients constituted 80 per cent of SGCI's business.

"We just weren't able to viably continue on," he said. "There just weren't many opportunities out there."

However, VanSnick pointed out that, through an arrangement with M-5 Marketing in Moncton, at least four SGCI employees have accepted jobs there while the firm will also take on their former clients.

"This has allowed us to save a number of jobs and will allow us to carry on our client relationships."

The business closure causes concern for Sackville Mayor Pat Estabrooks, who worries the town may just now be starting to feel the effects of the economic downturn.

"For the most part, we've been able to ride out the economic times, but I worry that now we may start to see an impact here," she said, pointing also to the most recent layoffs at the IMP plant in neighbouring Amherst.

SGCI employed 12 people when the shut-down came last week although there has been a series of job layoffs at the company in the past couple of years, which at one time employed more than 30 people.

"This is a huge loss to our town," said Estabrooks.

The mayor noted that most of SGCI's employees were well-paid professionals and hopes they will be able to find jobs locally.

"It's not going to be easy to replace that."

Organizations: SGCI Communications

Geographic location: Sackville, Moncton, Amherst

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