News & Events

Garland factory revamp gets $250k grant

August 21, 2021

[Source: The Sampson Independent]

GARLAND — As new life is being breathed into a manufacturing plant in Garland, even more exciting news is here.

The Garland Apparel Group, LLC has just caught a boon that will continue supporting the anchoring business that glues Garland together — a Building Reuse grant from NC Department of Commerce.

“On behalf of our employees, we are truly grateful to the State of North Carolina for approving our Building Reuse application,” said Kenneth Ragland, managing member of Garland Apparel Group, LLC.

The company has been awarded the $250,000 grant which is for buildings that are a “fundamental building block for economic development” said a release. These buildings, the release said, offer an attractive location for a growing company, but the extensive cost of renovating or upfitting these buildings can be make it extremely difficult to impossible.

This is where these Building Reuse grants can assist.

“These funds will be used to make major and minor repairs to our facility (former Brooks Brothers building), which will ensure the health and safety of our employees going forward,” said Ragland.

The application for this grant was made by the Sampson County Economic Development team, and the building is slated to reopen sometime in the very near future, with late August and early September targeted by company officials.

“We are confident that this grant opportunity was pivotal to Garland Apparel Group, LLC’s decision to locate to Sampson County,” said Economic Development Director Stephen Barrington.

“We are grateful the state of North Carolina has dedicated grant programs that support new and existing companies,” said Barrington.

“Perhaps most importantly, these funds will ensure the building is prepared to handle the expected increase in business we are anticipating, due to the desire to support Made in the USA products,” said Ragland.

“Our Economic Development team works closely with NC’s Southeast and Economic Development Partnership of NC to help align available grant and non-grant resources with the needs of local companies,” Barrington commented.

Prior to this the Sampson County Board of Commissioners stepped in offering help, unanimously approving the allocation of revolving loan funding of $75,000, plus up to $3,000 in closing costs, to to Garland Apparel Group, LLC and Cayenne Acquisitions Group, LLC.

The former Brooks Brothers property was purchased back in June, and expects to hire on over 100 staff members.

Cayenne Acquisitions Group, LLC purchased the Brooks Brothers Garland facility on June 18. The building is being leased by the Garland Apparel Group, LLC. Expectations are that they will produce branded shirts for multiple designers, as well as military shirts and PPE.

In the height of COVID in spring of 2020

Brooks Brothers filed for bankruptcy, shutting out close to 150 employees, causing a substantial economic blow to the small community of less than 700.

“The expert cut-and-sew talent (workforce) in the greater Garland area was key to our decision to locate to this region,” said Ragland in June’s announcement. “We are working with multiple entities that are seeking American-made shirts and other products. We envision this location being very important for our ability to fill purchase orders and grow our company.”

Garland Mayor Winifred Murphy is ecstatic about the new business and acquisition.

“We are ecstatic about the recent sale of the former Brooks Brothers plant. This is a boost for all the citizens of Garland, the many employees who have been out of work for the past year, and for the continued economic growth of our hometown,” she said.

“We are so thankful that Mr. Ragland has invested in Garland, Sampson County, and our people. We appreciate Sampson County and the State of North Carolina for helping to facilitate this sale. After the pandemic and the many gloomy challenges that the town has faced, we finally feel a ray of sunshine and see a beautiful rainbow.”

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