Updated December 22, 2015 7:39 AM
By James T. Madore firstname.lastname@example.org
A seller of cleaning products is planning a $1.7 million expansion in Copiague that could eventually bring manufacturing work, now done out of state, to Long Island, executives said.
Ecoclean Solutions Inc. wants to purchase 570 Oak St. for its sales office and warehouse. The 5-year-old company now shares space with a related business, Century, in Farmingdale.
Ecoclean produces environmentally-friendly drain opener, oven and barbecue grill cleaner, and stain remover wipes — all under the Green Gobbler brand. They are sold by Home Depot; Bed, Bath & Beyond; Ace Hardware; QVC, amazon.com and other retailers. The company also sells directly to consumers via greengobbler.com.
“We want to expand on Long Island and to eventually consolidate our business in Suffolk County,” said Eric Sternberg, who owns Ecoclean with his brother, Matt.
The men entered the cleaning products industry 10 years ago by establishing Century, which supplies hotels, apartment buildings and local governments. Century, located on Farmingdale’s Heisser Court, employs 36 people.
“We saw there was a need for cleaning products that wouldn’t harm the environment,” Eric Sternberg told the county’s Industrial Development Agency last week. “We opened Ecoclean to serve the consumer market.”
The IDA awarded Ecoclean $161,000 in tax breaks, including $141,000 off property tax bills, or a 27.5 percent reduction, over 10 years.
In return, the company has pledged to create five permanent jobs by 2018. They would pay, on average, $33,800 per year, excluding benefits.
Ecoclean also plans to continue to employ about 10 independent contractors as sales representatives.
Under questioning from IDA board member Anthony Giordano, Sternberg, president of Ecoclean, said he hopes to eventually begin producing Green Gobbler products in Suffolk County. “That would be the end goal, to move everything here,” he said.
Green Gobbler is now produced in Arkansas. “I wouldn’t close it right off the bat but to take advantage of the huge market here we need to have production here as well,” Sternberg said.
IDA executive director Anthony J. Catapano said the agency plans in the future to assist other small businesses, such as Ecoclean. “They have become the backbone of Suffolk County’s economy,” he said. “Sixty-three percent of the 51,000 private businesses in the county have fewer than five employees.”