In June of 1981, George Payne, a 12-year veteran in the business equipment industry, started Forest City Business Equipment from his grandmother’s basement on Rectory Street in London Ontario. By November of that year, the company had seen such rapid growth that it was necessary to move out of the basement and into a larger space.
Growing at a steady pace selling and servicing typewriters, the company purchased a building on Hamilton Road in 1985 as it continued to widen it’s scope of office equipment and services to it’s loyal following. By 1987, Savin of Canada copier/fax products were added to the line-up.
Word processors, printers, and faxes were soon added, and FCBE became one of the largest office equipment dealers in Canada. In 1986, FCBE was hooking up computers to typewriters, to make them communicate not only as a printer, but both ways. It had never been heard of in the typewriter world, but we did it.
Becoming an Authorized Dealer of TEC cash registers, Forest City Business Equipment went from zero to the largest dealer for sales and service volume in Canada in both 1989 & 1990.
In August of 1990, George sold his business to a larger firm in London (Daytun Inc.), feeling that it was in the best interest of his customers. Unfortunately, one year later he was not of the same opinion and purchased the Forest City Business Equipment identity back from Daytun; except for the cash register division. Shortly after the purchase, he inherited the TEC cash register dealership back and he rebuilt the division over the next 2 years until he sold it to a company dedicated to that industry.
In 1992, Forest City had the opportunity to become the new Panasonic Copier Dealer for the City of London. In April 1993 the Panasonic facsimile division (Panafax) named Forest City as its newest dealer. At that point in time, the main focus of Forest City’s operations turned from typewriters, calculators, and dictation equipment to copiers and fax products. FCBE started with a small base of customers that grew to many contract and time & material customers by 1999.
Since that time, technology has exploded with multi-functional equipment and FCBE has kept pace with the technology and created additional relationships with OKI-Data and Kyocera.
Managed Print Services is more important now than ever as companies struggle to keep their costs down and improve workflows, and FCBE offers this service to it’s clients.
Through all the years and many various changes, one thing has remained constant – customer service. At Forest City Business Equipment, the customer comes first and you can expect the highest level of service possible from our staff.
Currently, Forest City is a Panasonic, Oki-Data, Kyocera, Nakajima and Dahle Authorized Dealership offering a full-line of copiers, printers, scanners, fax machines, shredders, folders, electronic whiteboards and typewriters.
George and his staff are proud of the support and affiliations they have developed in the London Ontario area. George has, in the past and in the present, continued to strengthen his ties to the following businesses and associations:
Forest City has assisted John Davidson and Jesse’s Journey with their business equipment and service needs as well as being a financial contributor.
Rowbust Dragon Boat Team
FCBE is a proud sponsor of the Rowbust Dragon Boat Racing Team with their office equipment needs and services.
George is a member of the Mason’s – Merrill Lodge, No. 344, Dorcherster Ontario
Hamilton Road Area Business Association
George was a Past President of the Hamilton Road Area Business Association.
London Executive Association
FCBE is a proud and contributing member of the London Executive Association, a non-profit worldwide referral network built on a simple shared belief: “the people we know are the people we trust.”
Business Club of London
FCBE is a long-standing member of this London-based club that started in 1954 and continues to prosper.
Legion - Branch 176
George is a member of the Legion, Branch #176 and has for many years contributed wherever possible with needed equipment and service across Southwestern Ontario.
FCBE is a member of CFIB, which represents the interests of the small business community to all three levels of government in their fight for tax fairness, reasonable labour laws and reduction of regulatory paper burden.