Opportunity in a Time of Crisis

Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on print

Longtime C2FO customer Granite Gold Inc. is addressing coronavirus concerns by distributing essential cleaning supplies and bringing a new disinfectant product to market.

For many small- to medium-sized businesses, the economic meltdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic has been a time of tremendous stress and uncertainty. 

A few companies, however, have actually seen a surge in demand during the crisis. 

Granite Gold Inc. is a Poway, California-based company that manufactures, markets and distributes premium care and maintenance products for natural-stone and quartz surfaces such as countertops, floors and showers under the Granite Gold® brand. The company has experienced a 40% to 50% spike in revenue since the pandemic hit the United States in full force in early March, said Granite Gold President/CEO and co-founder Lenny Sciarrino. 

Some of that sales growth is due to increased demand from retail customers and consumers for Granite Gold’s care and maintenance products. Another key factor is a new disinfectant Granite Gold is bringing to market in rapid fashion — and plans to have on store shelves later this month at CVS, Rite Aid, Ace Hardware and True Value Hardware. 

Opportunity in a time of crisis

The disinfectant is called Monofoil D, the only single-step disinfectant and anti-microbial shield packed in one solution, and one that’s widely used by professional and college athletic teams, urban transit systems and state governments.

Approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, Monofoil D kills viruses on contact and molecularly bonds to the surface for ongoing protection, creating an active barrier that continues to protect, Sciarrino said. The formula pulls microbes from the surface, punctures their cells and prevents future growth – an impenetrable protection for families and homes. Whereas typical disinfecting solutions will only disinfect or provide a layer of ongoing protection, MonoFoil D does both.

It’s the kind of product that’s badly needed by retailers and consumers during a global pandemic that has no clear end in sight.    

Sciarrino said he began researching ways to implement a longer-lasting disinfectant for stone surfaces last September. A friend connected him to MonoFoil USA, based in the Indianapolis area. At that time, of course, no one anticipated the coronavirus. 

“We were excited about this technology,” Sciarrino said. “Then COVID-19 started hitting the U.S. and we got calls from our retailers asking if we had any type of disinfectant.”

Granite Gold quickly reached an agreement to bottle and distribute the product to retailers under the MonoFoil brand. Because the disinfectant has a relatively high price point, Sciarrino said Granite Gold also agreed to cut its profit margins to get the product out there. 

Orders soon began pouring in: 100,000 units for CVS, 30,000 for Ace Hardware, and so on.

An urgent need for working capital 

Usually, an unexpected surge in demand is a good thing, but Sciarrino needed an influx of working capital to meet urgent orders for hundreds of thousands of bottles of disinfectant.     

That’s how C2FO was able to help. For years, Granite Gold has participated in accelerating payment on receivables from Walmart and Ace Hardware through C2FO’s early payment program. Granite Gold also has a revolving line of credit through C2FO Capital Finance. 

Sciarrino’s ongoing relationship with C2FO and Capital Finance enabled his company to quickly receive an advance on his line of credit to finance a very time-sensitive opportunity.

“I needed $300,000 in working capital to secure some raw materials for this launch,” he said. “C2FO is definitely instrumental in getting MonoFoil D out there.”  

Chris Atkins, senior vice president of Capital Finance for C2FO, said this is just one example of how C2FO can quickly deploy funds to companies in need of a quick influx of capital.

“In addition to early payment, we have several financial tools and lending options that can provide support for companies that need it, which is especially important at this challenging time,” Atkins said. 

Helping to meet a critical need 

Sciarrino said he is well aware of Granite Gold’s enviable position during COVID-19 — first for him and his 14 full-time employees to be deemed an essential business, then to see a significant boost in sales at a time when so many U.S. businesses are having a difficult time.

He’s proud of the role Granite Gold has played in helping to provide a product that kills bacteria and microbes in homes and retail stores. However, he hopes there isn’t such an urgent need for disinfectants a few weeks from now.  

I’m not worried in terms of our consumer base,” Sciarrino said. “For us, I just really hope this doesn’t go on for six months. I have a family, a wife and kids and it’s difficult for everybody. I want us to get past this sooner rather than later.”