Brookfield company shifts gears, helps small businesses re-open

Businesses that rely on large gatherings are finding ways to adapt during the pandemic. A Brookfield business is making an entirely new product line to help other businesses re-open. 

For decades, Exhibit Systems in Brookfield has stayed in business creating trade show displays and graphics. With trade shows canceled for the foreseeable future, the business was in jeopardy. 

“We were actually having the best year we were ever going to have, and then literally in late March things just got cut off. We went from 100% to literally 0,” Richard Magliocco, president and owner of Exhibit Systems.

But the answer soon became clear -- design Plexiglas barriers. The small business is helping other small businesses reopen while meeting the unique needs of 2020. 

“We’ve been selling them a lot to the libraries throughout the state, and as schools start to re-open, we’re starting to the schools with them also,” VP of Exhibit Systems David Jentz said.  

They’ve also designed portable barriers that could sit between a table at a restaurant, or wrap-around students in a classroom.

The pandemic caused Exhibit Systems to lay off dozens of employees. They are hoping innovations like this can help get some people back to work. 

“What it does it actually kind of keeps the lights on, allows us to pay for the overall infrastructure we got here. Some of these other things is what we’re hoping will be able to bring some people back,” Magliocco said.