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Glass company in Burnips permanently closes its doors

Posted at 3:50 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 16:40:26-04

SALEM TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to impact small businesses throughout West Michigan.

In fact, Oldcastle building envelope, otherwise known as Dykstra Glass, is closing its doors for good.

"It's a mainstay of the center of Burnips," said lead maintenance employee Tom Dykstra.

For over forty years, Dykstra Glass has been a staple of the small town of Burnips in northern Allegan county.

"There are very few businesses here and people have gotten used to it," Dykstra said on what the business means.

In his 39th year with the company, Dykstra says business was going well prior to the onset of coronavirus. However, on April 2nd, news came that their corporation Oldcastle building envelope was closing the location down.

"We were looking at bids to get more machinery to increase our production," he said, "three weeks later came the official word, 'hey we're closing the doors.'"

Dykstra says he was in the middle of receiving a shipment when that news came without warning. While he and the 28 other employees were deemed essential workers throughout the shutdown, a lot of their customers were not, which had major financial implications.

"Our customers had to shutdown because job sites were shut down, which means we couldn't ship products," he added.

In a small town with just a handful of businesses, the impact of the shops closing will be felt around the community.

"It's going to take away from the local gas station, from the ice cream shop," Dykstra explained, "it's going to effect people that were here. Now, they need to go to Grand Rapids and out of town to find jobs because there's nothing here for them."

As for Dykstra himself, it really hasn't set in yet since he is still working as one of the employees in charge of shipping the equipment and leftover products out.

"The day I have to stay home and not work, it's going to be like, 'now what do I do?' I guess I'll go find a job because I like to work," he smiled.

Dykstra says the rest of the goods should be transported out of the shop within the next few weeks.