Highlighting a PaFIA Corporate Sponsor
By: John Rokosz
Since its inception over 10 years ago, the PA film tax credit has been creating jobs and putting Pennsylvanians to work in the film industry. PaFIA enjoys sharing these stories, because they show the tax credit’s direct effect on crew members, actors, and other professionals in the industry. Equally important to consider, however, are the lesser-known stories from across industry lines. Industries that may have no immediate affiliation with film are sharing in the success of Pennsylvania’s film tax credit, and are doing their part to stand with PaFIA as corporate sponsors and advocates. In my interview with Rich Virgin, of Virgin Carpets in Southwestern PA, I heard one of these success stories on a wonderfully personal level.
Virgin Carpets is a family-owned and operated flooring business located in the South Hills, just outside of Pittsburgh. The business was started over 50 years ago by Rich’s father, and Rich has spent his entire life learning his craft. At the age of 12, he was helping his father by threading needles to sew his carpets together. Today, he services prominent corporate clients such as the University of Pittsburgh, Jefferson Regional Hospital, Dowling Builders, and Jefferson Borough Marketplace, in addition to residential customers throughout Pittsburgh and the South Hills.
His affiliation with the film industry began with a “personal favor” to his longtime friend, David Haddad. Haddad’s Inc. is a well-established truck and trailer rental service which has seen great success because of the PA tax credit. More specifically, their trailers are used for actors, crew, and staff on the set—and that’s where Virgin Carpets comes in. Providing a clean, professional space for film industry workers is paramount when accommodating multi-million-dollar projects from around the country. As Rich described, “Haddad’s wants their trailers to be perfect.” For this reason, Virgin Carpets is hired to clean or replace the flooring as necessary, before any trailers are rented out and used on set. Rich continued, “Haddad’s Inc. is one of our top 3 accounts—even when our other business is slow, Haddad’s work is steady.”
When asked about the PA film tax credit, Rich glowed: “I believe in the tax credit. I’ve seen what it can do first hand. I credit Haddad’s and the film industry for putting my four kids through college!” What an incredible story—and better yet, all four of Rich’s boys went to Pennsylvania schools. This reinvestment into the state’s economy is the tax credit’s exact recipe for success. Moreover, Rich explained that this work has kept him from laying off any employees for the past 10 years, even through slow seasons. “Time is of the essence for these projects. When a client comes in, the trailers need to be ready—this requires me to keep people available for short deadlines.”
Virgin Carpets is a tremendous example of the wide-reaching positive effect of the tax credit. When he was invited to become a PaFIA sponsor, Rich jumped at the chance. “It’s a chance for me to thank my friend for all he’s done, and the newsletter keeps me in touch with an industry that I previously knew nothing about.” Through Rich’s support, and the support of all its corporate sponsors and individual members, PaFIA will continue to be an advocate for those who love the film industry, and for those who make their living by its wellness and prosperity. To support our friend, Virgin Carpets, please visit www.virgincarpets.com.