Bishopville Lands London-Based Company

BISHOPVILLE- Having opened its first-ever U.S. office in Worcester County this spring, London-based CP Cases has landed in Bishopville.

Though starting small in its first year, the expectation is that CP will see a boom over the next decade.

“It’s a small operation right now but it’s really the launch of their American operations and I think they’re going to grow quickly,” said Bill Badger, director of Economic Development for Worcester.

CP has a long history overseas in Europe and a reputation for quality that will transfer over stateside, according to CP Cases General Manager Bruce Blackway,

“It’s a 43-year-old company headquartered in London and the primary product is cases,” he said. “They’re mainly ruggedized cases, re-shippable, transit, shipping, packing cases and the military uses them a lot.”

The cases are also used for civilian purposes including electronics and medical and the company even has early roots in music. CP has a strong operation in London and everything is small in Bishopville at the moment. Blackway anticipates that the U.S. branch will quickly come to rival or exceed the original.

“The London company now has, for the first time ever, a U.S. location and it happens to be right in Worcester County here,” he said. “We hope to grow the Bishopville location hugely and the owner of the company actually expects within five years that we’re going to dwarf the London operation.”

This is no small feat as the London facility is some 40,000 square feet with dozens of employees. But Blackway is confident that CP in Worcester will come into its own. This falls in line well with the county strategy to attract a diverse field of companies and employers offering more than the traditional seasonal jobs.

“The more we can diversify our economy with family supporting year-round jobs is really important because we’ve got this amazing school system and we need to keep our young adults where they see opportunity here,” said Badger.

And Worcester does a lot to make sure the area is enticing for the target market.

“We send a strong message of being pro-business,” continued Badger. “We value jobs and additional tax revenue opportunities here. We have a favorable business climate and a low tax environment.”

There are also a number of enterprise zones that are designed to appeal even further to businesses though in this case CP does not fall into such a zone. The company was given a tour of the county and decided to settle down in Bishopville. The tour was a collaborative effort between several in the county, which Blackway acknowledged this week.

“We are very pleased to be located in Worcester County, Maryland. I want to thank the WCED Office, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development,” he said, “and the Small Business Technology Development Center for their assistance in helping us establish our business location at the Todd Industrial Park.”

Just catching the eye of a business with so much growth potential was rewarding, said Badger, though he admitted that Worcester had more than a little help from Blackway. Heading his own business in Philadelphia for more than a decade, Blackway briefly retired before being offered the lead for CP’s first U.S. operation. Blackway had already made plans to move to Worcester and CP decided to follow him.  It’s unlikely that they would have decided to stay without seeing some benefit in Worcester, however, and Badger said that he is excited for the where the company will go in the next few years.

“We’re thrilled to have played an active role in helping bring this globally respected company right here to Worcester County,” he said. “We have great expectations that CP Cases will see significant growth in employment in the near future.”