A manufacturer of paper office supplies in Amityville plans to shut down in March, eliminating 70 jobs, its owner said Wednesday.
Kleer-Fax Inc. has lost money for the past few years as technology reduces demand for its index and legal exhibit tabs, file pockets, folders, vertical files and other office supplies, according to company owner and president Louis Nigro.
He also said Kleer-Fax faced intense competition from rivals in China, Mexico and Southeast Asia.
“We’re no longer competitive . . . I’m trying to go out in a respectful way, to pay everybody what we owe them,” said Nigro, who has worked at the company for 42 years. “I don’t want to have to file for bankruptcy.”
He said he has contacted neighboring businesses about hiring his soon-to-be unemployed workers. Kleer-Fax is located at 750 New Horizons Blvd.
Nigro said he hopes to “sell pieces of my business to other people” and to sell the New Horizons Boulevard building.
“Technology has impacted the need for our products, the need is shrinking,” he said, adding Kleer-Fax items are sold to commercial customers under other companies’ brand names.
“We also cannot raise our prices because of competition from China and other countries, even though our costs for health care, taxes and the minimum wage have gone up,” he said.
Kleer-Fax received two low-interest loans in 1992 and 2009 for equipment purchases and other factory improvements, state records show.
Nigro said the company recently lost its largest customer.
He filed a required notice Monday with the state Labor Department stating that the company would close in 90 days.
Five of the affected employees are represented by Local 1L of the Graphic Communications Conference of the Teamsters union.
Kleer-Fax was founded by Nigro’s father, Daniel, in 1972 in Mineola. Most of its 2,700 products are made from recycled materials.