Burning Down the Burtons

Burton Metal Finishing

Burton Metal was faced with a decision no business owner ever wants to make – walk away or rebuild. Victoria explains the heartache, frustration and uncertainty her family felt as they dove headfirst into the recovery process.

Once the dust settled, they went into recovery mode.


Dave Cain
Rea & Associates
On Oct. 4, 2013, a three-alarm fire hit the business. They lost 96 percent their clients. Their primary building and equipment was destroyed.
Victoria Burton
Burton Metal Finishing
Once we were sure that everybody got out safely, we went into recovery mode. That’s just what you do.
Dave
As a third generation business, there are a lot of Burtons working in the facility; there was a lot to think about.
Victoria
And then there were our employees. Many of them had been with us since the beginning.
Victoria
Picking up our plating tanks and moving to another warehouse was never an option. It just wouldn’t work. If we wanted to stay in business, we had no other choice but to rebuild.
Dave
Business interruption insurance played a vital role during the rebuilding phase.
Victoria
Our saving grace is that Scott changed our policy a couple months before the fire to include business interruption. He was hesitant because of the added cost, but he just had a gut feeling.
Victoria
Business interruption helped subsidize the portion of our revenue that was lost as a result of the disaster. If we didn't have business interruption, we could not have kept our employees employed.
Rea was a sounding board during the rebuild.
Dave
We also had to bring the building, which was built in the 1960s, up to today’s code standards.
Victoria
What you think you will need before a disaster compared to what you actually need after a disaster are two totally different things. We thought $250,000 was a lot of money. It’s nothing. Bringing the building up to code cost over $1.5 million.
Victoria
We've had to take a lot from ourselves in order to move forward. We had to take everything we put away for retirement back out.
Dave
We're still not back to pre-recession era.
Victoria
In some ways, coming back, we're playing by all new rules. It's like starting a business from scratch.
Victoria
The survival of Burton Metal is up to us. If we don't bring in that revenue, if we don't bring in those customers, then we can't keep our employees paid and we can't buy the products we need to produce our parts.

Burton Metal Finishing
A multi-generation family-owned business located in Columbus, Ohio, specializing in custom metal finishing and processing and powder coating.
Milestones
  • Founded: 1997
  • Introduced Powder Coating: 2009
  • Introduced Media Blasting: 2014
Client
Victoria Burton
co-owner & CFO Burton Metal Finishing
Advisory Team
Principal, Rea & Associates