Employees at Optimation in Rush design the assemblies and make the tools that help other companies manufacture a product.
When Kodak filed for bankruptcy in January its unpaid bill essentially wiped out a year’s profit.
“For us, that was a big chunk of money,” says Optimation President and CEO Bill Pollock.
The $1.7 million Optimation is owed is a drop in the bucket of the claims totaling $20.5 billion. Kodak will begin meeting with creditors this week- another significant step to emerge from Chapter 11.
Kodak has extended bankruptcy proceedings several times leaving a number of local companies in limbo. In many cases it’s a big bill leaving small businesses scrambling.
“It was a year’s worth of profits so in the worst case scenario it sets us back a year,” says Pollock.
Yet instead this has been a year of growth for his company. With the help of bank financing, Optimation acquired a New Hampshire firm- moved it here – and added 40 jobs.
“People ask us ‘If you could do it again would you do it differently,’ and the answer is we wouldn’t do things differently,” says Pollock.
Kodak remains a top client. Optimation has signed a 3 year contract to provide manufacturing expertise in silver halide used in both motion picture film and commercial printing.
And bankruptcy proceedings have had another unexpected outcome: new contracts with Rochester Works and a half-dozen other companies who’ve acquired pieces Kodak was forced to shed.
Kodak returns to bankruptcy court on Wednesday. Creditors could receive .20 to .30 cents on the dollar, but because Kodak’s patent sale never materialized some suggest payments will be much lower.
Left unanswered nearly one year after Kodak entered Chapter 11 is whether Optimation will be paid, or how much. “At some point we’re always hopeful,” says Pollock. “But in between we’ve gone forward.”