Site Visit: Advocacy Tours Small Chemical Manufacturing and Distribution Plant in New Orleans
By Emily Theroux, Public Affairs Assistant
On June 9, members of the Advocacy staff toured Wechem, a small chemical manufacturing and distribution plant based out of New Orleans. Founded in 1972, the company has remained family owned and operated by the Wisecarver family.
Advocacy met with Richard Wisecarver, the Senior Vice President of Equipment Services and one of the four brothers currently running the business. The company employs 36 people and has additional locations in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas. Wechem sells a wide variety of chemical products including industrial solvents.
“As a small business, the biggest challenge for us has been breaking into the market,” Wisecarver said. “Bigger companies are able to manufacture and distribute on a much larger scale than we are which makes it hard to compete for contracts with large oil refineries.”
“Fortunately, we have found a niche in the market that gives us a competitive advantage over some of our larger competitors” he added. “Our Hulk System is a fully patented product which allows for optimal floor cleaning and degreasing.”
Even though Wechem has successfully found its way into the market, the cost of regulatory compliance is a continuing burden on the company.
Small chemical manufacturers struggle to afford the time and money required to keep track of the many different federal agencies regulating the industry. When a new federal regulation comes to Wechem, it often takes the company countless hours to figure out how the regulation applies to their practices and decide on what, if anything needs to change in order to comply.
“Bigger companies have experts dedicated to different categories of federal regulations affecting chemical manufacturing. We are given the same rules and deadlines, but we only have ourselves to consult with,” Wisecarver said.
Advocacy looks forward to working with Wechem and other small chemical manufacturers to help ease the federal regulatory burden on small businesses in this industry.
Advocacy was in Louisiana for Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables June 7-8.
Can’t get to a roundtable near you? Fill out this form and tell us about your federal regulatory burdens. We will pass this information on to the appropriate agency and use it in the planning of upcoming Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables.
For more information on Advocacy’s mission, our regulatory reform efforts or to find out where the next Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables will be held, please visit: https://advocacy.sba.gov/regulation/regulatory-reform/.
Emily Theroux is the Public Affairs Assistant for Advocacy. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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