Bubble Gum Competition

March 8, 2013 Updated Mar 8, 2013 at 9:16 AM EDT

By Elizabeth Carey

March 8, 2013 Updated Mar 8, 2013 at 9:16 AM EDT

A local company is finding it hard to blow bubbles. Ford Gum and Machine makes Big League Chew and is the country's only gumball manufacturing facility. But a report in today's Business First shows how competition is heating up with two Ontario gumball giants. They can buy raw materials cheaper and hold most of the U.S. market share.
Ford Gum officials say the U.S. Farm Bill creates a sugar shortage that increases prices. And if they don't buy U.S. Sugar, they pay a high tax. Ford is investing in new equipment to run operations more efficiently. They employ nearly 150 people. The company makes about 40,000 pounds of gum every day.

A tiny credit union is experiencing rapid loan growth. St. Joseph's Parish Buffalo Federal Credit Union, known as SJP, has just one office and seven employees. A report in today's Business First says it has become a lender for boats, campers and ATVs, while paying pretty decent dividends, too. Officials say big banks "throw them scraps," the small loans, and they learned how to turn them into a meal. The report says its 12-month loan growth is 35 percent. The national industry average is 3 percent. The credit union has about 4,000 members.

You can read more in today's Business First.