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Alliance Rubber Company

American Made Since 1923

Bonnie Swayze

Hot Springs, Arkansas
Alliance provides more than 2,000 organizational products designed for “Holding Your World Together." Fun products sold in more than 28 countries
Crafts

Tell us about your business.

Since the arrival of the Alliance Rubber Band in 1923, these simple stretchy loops of rubber have become a ubiquitous mainstay in offices, homes, schools and everywhere in between. The list of endless uses and versatile applications for Alliance Products continues to grow . Now an American success story, Alliance Rubber Company owes it’s beginning to the ingenuity of one man – my father - William H. Spencer, who left his Franklin, Kentucky home in 1904 at the age of 13. Traveling by rail to seek adventure, he found himself in Alliance, Ohio in 1917 with less than $3, and began working for the Pennsylvania Railroad. Six years later on March 7, 1923, he obtained a few Goodyear inner tubes. He cut the bands by hand in his basement where he founded Alliance Rubber Company. After almost a century, Alliance is still a family owned business with a rich and distinctive American heritage. What started as a practical and reliable solution for everyday life has evolved beyond expectations.

What makes your business stand out?

We are now celebrating a third generation of family ownership, with more than 150-team members. It is the passion they bring to producing a quality product that distinguishes the brand. 62% of the Alliance Rubber Company team has been with the company for over five years and they help us make some of the world’s best rubber band products. 94% of our sales are of American-made products. Alliance Rubber Company also comply with standards for Buy American set-asides in conjunction with U.S. government purchases. We were recently recepients of two American Manufacturing Award through Made In USA Certified and The Made In USA Foundation. Our WBENC—Women’s Business Enterprise National Council Certification shows our dedication to helping women advance in the boardroom and beyond. We were recently honored by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s NIST—National Institute of Standards and Technology—as one of two U.S. companies to win the Excellence in Innovation Award.

What's the best business advice you've received?

Our Dad and founder, William Spencer, always emphasized to us that our products should be made in the USA. I am daily inspired by his handwritten note in a frame stating “American Know-How.” Most of the 28 million businesses in the USA today were started by entrepreneurs like him. Over 42,000 U. S. factories have closed since 2000, offshoring 7 million jobs. Every dollar spent on a U. S.-made product creates $2.70 worth of economic activity. It would be simpler and easier to offshore a product. But what does that say about our ability to provide for families in the USA? On our website rubberband.com, we encourage consumers to take our “We Can Make It In America” pledge to spend $1 of their money daily on U. S.-made goods and look at labels. We hope to help create one million new American jobs with the pledges. Made in the USA is not good only for our 150 associates and their families. It is good for the economic health and future of all Americans.

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