County Manager & City Manager Issue Statement on Ball Closure

Rockingham County's Ball Metal Beverage Packaging in Eden, NC on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. Photographed for Rockingham County Economic Development & Tourism marketing efforts. (Photo/Artisan Image)

The City of Reidsville and Rockingham County were notified on December 12, 2016 that Ball Corporation had announced to its employees plans to shut down the Reidsville metal beverage container plant by mid-2017.

We are deeply saddened for the employees, their families and our community.  Ball Corporation has been a great employer and valued corporate citizen for 37 years.  The loss of this plant and 150 jobs will be felt throughout our community and region.

The City and County Economic Development Teams will be working closely with our state and local allies such as NC Works and Rockingham Community College to put a plan in place to assist the displaced workers.

Our job is to try to make the best of this as much as possible.  The skilled and adaptable workforce coming out of Ball will be a great asset for our industry recruitment efforts.   We will focus our efforts on targeting new businesses and industries that require these skills.  We will begin marketing the building as soon as possible and the size of the facility will be a great selling point.

There are exciting opportunities underway in Reidsville and Rockingham County that will help in attracting new business such as the Love’s Travel Center development; NTE Energy power plant; numerous downtown developments including the Lucky City brew pub; and the investments and expansions of many of our existing industries that were announced this year.

We are confident that our team will think creatively and put focused strategies in place that accentuate our strengths, selling points and advantages to bring new jobs and industries to Reidsville and Rockingham County.

“While saddened to hear that Ball Corporation has made the decision to close the Reidsville Plant, I want our citizens and stakeholders to know that the City and County will work diligently to overcome this loss to our community.

My heart goes out to the employees and the families of this facility.  They will remain at the forefront of our thoughts and actions as we respond.  This plant has been an economic and social staple in the fabric of our local society for numerous years.  We will endeavor to work with Ball Corporation, others and the community through this difficult time,” said Preston Mitchell, Reidsville City Manager.

“The news of a plant shut down is never easy especially when it is one like Ball Corporation that has been a pillar of our local economy for so many years.  The Commissioners and I are heartbroken by the company’s decision to close the local plant.

Our top concern is for the affected employees and their families.  I want to assure them and our entire community that we will be doing all that we can to help the displaced workers.  Our teams at the County will be working closely with our partners in Reidsville and at the state level to offer the appropriate support.

While this is another hurdle to overcome, the people of Reidsville and Rockingham County are hardworking and resilient.  It’s attributes like these that will keep our community moving forward and help in our efforts to attract a new business to that facility,” said Lance Metzler, Rockingham County Manager.

 

 

 

Makers of Charlie’s Soap Expand to Stoneville

996005_10152258210194972_874621676_nThe Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business & Tourism and the Town of Stoneville are pleased to announce the expansion of Sutherland Products Inc., the homegrown manufacturer of Charlie’s Soap brand of cleaning products.  The company is investing over $1,000,000 with the purchase and upfit of  a 120,000 square foot building in Stoneville that will be used for distribution and office space.  Sutherland Products’ manufacturing operations will remain in its original location in Mayodan.

“We are in dire need of more space for our logisitics and distribution, especially because our laundry powder has been hovering in the number one spot on Amazon for five years in a row now.  This new location will allow us to make that process more efficient,” said Taylor Sutherland, president of Sutherland Products, Inc. “The new space will also allow us to design the offices and warehouse to include more natural lighting, which will make the work environment better for our employees.”

Sutherland Products currently has 20 employees.  While there are no new jobs with this expansion at this time, the company says this investment will allow them to expand down the road when jobs are necessary.

“Homegrown, entrepreneurial companies like Sutherland Products are the backbone of our economy.  We are delighted to see the company making this investment in Rockingham County and we look forward to supporting their continued growth,” said Jan Critz, director of the Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business & Tourism.

“The Town of Stoneville is thrilled to welcome Sutherland Products, Inc.  as our newest corporate resident.  The company has an excellent reputation for being innovative and having a strong sense of corporate citizenship. We are pleased that they will continue their success story while maintaining their ties to western Rockingham County,” said Kenneth Gamble, manager of the Town of Stoneville.

About Sutherland Products, Inc., makers of Charlie’s Soap brand products
Originally created to clean textile machines in the mills, Sutherland Products Inc., is a homegrown, family company based in Mayodan that manufactures the Charlie’s Soap brand of cleaning products.  Founded by Charlie Sutherland, Jr., the company has been in business for over 40 years.

When the textile mills moved overseas, the second generation of Sutherlands—Charlie’s sons Taylor, James and Morgan—restructured and grew the business beyond industrial cleaning.  In 2002, Charlie’s sons took over, launched the Laundry Powder, rebranded the company and its products, and modernized operations.  Since then, Sutherland Products has enjoyed an average 25% growth year over year.  The company sells products online as well as through thousands of brick and mortar locations in all 50 states and 50 countries.

Learn more at: www.charliesoap.com

Midwest Hotel Chain Shows Interest in Mayodan

A Midwest hotel chain is trying to expand their brand into the Town of Mayodan.

The conversation about Cobblestone Hotel’s coming to the town has residents like Ricardo Esquiveo excited. The town’s mayor, Jeffery Bullins, said, “There was a great need for overnight lodging in the western Rockingham County area.”

The hotel’s CEO Brian Wogernese says they believe Mayodan fits their business model.

Town officials say the proposed location for the hotel is what they are excited about. If plans go through, the hotel will be right next to Highway 220, future Interstate 73.

Esquiveo says if the hotel does come to town, he may have to make some changes around the restaurant he manages.

“I think we are going to have to be open for 24-7 now. Once you have a hotel, you have people coming in early in the morning, late at night, just trying to find somewhere to eat. So I think it will be good for business,” said Esquiveo.

A final decision will be made in the upcoming months. If the decision is in favor of the hotel coming to Mayodan, it will be the Cobblestone’s first hotel in North Carolina.

From Time Warner Cable News: view video here.

Hotel Chain Interested in Placing Franchise in Mayodan

By Joe Dexter jdexter@rockinghamnow.com

MAYODAN – A Midwest hotel chain is showing a strong interest in expanding its brand throughout the east coast and parts of North Carolina.  Wisconsin-based Cobblestone Hotels has been working with property owners, town and county officials to potentially make the town of Mayodan its first destination.

The hotel franchising brand owns 83 hotels that are either open or under construction across 16 states.

The company is interested in finding local investors in Rockingham County to purchase the shares needed to create the cash equity pool to turn garnered interest into one of the 50 franchises currently under development.

The hotel, which is being planned for Commerce Drive behind Blow Molded Solutions, is slated to cost upwards of $5 million.

In order to take on the project, 40 percent of equity will need to be raised by local investors before Cobblestone considers making plans to construct the hotel that development officials say will have more than 40 rooms.

Local ownership would also take on the additional 60 percent of dead equity once an official agreement is in place.

The ownership group of the turnkey hotel operation could also opt to purchase a stake in ownership.
When owners Brian Wogernese and Mark Pomerenke launched the brand in 2008, they were in a position to invest in every single project as the brand’s only developers. The company has now opted to have seven developers working in 20 states.

Carrissa Mulahn, who serves as vice president of development for BriMark Builders in Neenah, Wisconsin, is the lead developer for the Mayodan project as well as others in Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee. She says the ownership group could choose to be equity investors if the Mayodan project becomes the first hotel franchise in North Carolina.

“I don’t know for sure what the cash commitment to this project from the Cobblestone ownership group will be at this point, but they do intend to be shareholders as part owners, just like the local folks in the first projects of each state,” Mulahn said.

Cobblestone officials say the real interest for expanding into North Carolina and Rockingham County is not necessarily based on need. They believe they can provide the most efficiency for potential investors through their ability to build, develop and provide day-to-day management if an investment group so chose.

“We can take you from flat ground all the way to being ready to open the doors,” Mulahn said. “We can put sheets on the bed, soap in the soap dishes, take reservations, get people checked in and out and run the whole picture.”

The projected property for the hotel project is owned by Peter Osborne, who owns Osborne Company Inc. – a general contractor company based out of Eden.

Town Manager Michael Brandt said that with Commerce Drive being one of the few streets in Mayodan that is a state road, a meeting did take place with NCDOT officials to extend part of the road to accommodate the hotel and Blow Molded Solutions, which broke ground on a 20,000-square-feet expansion in August.

Jan Critz, Rockingham County director of economic development and tourism, says with a property location in place, the next challenge is raising the money and investors needed to build, own and carry the debt and equity of the project.

“We’ve had meetings with folks that we thought might have an interest,” Critz said. “This hotel is something the western part of the county has wanted for 10-plus years. It’s just really hard to recruit an 80-100 room hotel to a small and rural area like this.

“It’s been a struggle but I feel like we’re further down the road than we’ve ever been. We’re still marketing to other hoteliers, but our feasibility study is for 60 rooms, and it’s really hard to find a flagship hotel at that rate.”

Cobblestone Hotels is one of the fastest growing hotel chains in the Midwest and has focused on expanding its brand by focusing on small to mid-tier markets.