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Business Notes: Aug. 18, 2013

East Thetford — The Green Mountain Economic Development Corp. has completed the purchase and lease-back of the Pompanoosuc Mills furniture manufacturing, showroom and headquarters buildings, the nonprofit’s executive director said last week.

Under the agreement, the regional development corporation purchased the facilities using a $1.58 million low-interest loan from the Vermont Economic Development Corp., the state’s economic development lender, said Joan Goldstein.

Pompanoosuc Mills’ annual lease payments are low enough to allow it to channel the savings back into product development, marketing and sales development, which will help the company to expand and increase its current workforce by 10, from 140 to 150, over the next three years, Goldstein said.

“This is another example of Vermont supporting businesses so they can grow and expand, and we’re pleased that GMDC was able to get this started and able to participate in the solution to keeping people employed at Pompanoosuc,” she said.

Dwight Sargent, Pompanoosuc Mills owner and president, started the company in 1973 while he was a student at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. The company began with Sargent and another worker in a 320-square-foot workshop at his Norwich home, financed with $2,000 his father gave him, Sargent said in a 2005 interview with the Valley News .

In 1980, Pompanoosuc moved into a 10,000-square-foot space on 12 acres in East Thetford. In 2005, the company completed a $2.2 million expansion and now operates in 74,000 square feet. The furniture is sold online, at the company’s showroom and at its 12 retail stores in the Northeast and the mid-Atlantic states.

Green Mountain is a regional development corporation serving Orange and northern Windsor counties.

Upcoming Events

Gregg Fairbrothers, founding director of the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network, will be the keynote speaker at the New Hampshire High Tech Council Bio/Medical Forum at the Wentworth by the Sea Country Club in Rye on Aug. 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. Fairbrothers also is a professor of business administration at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and founding chairman of the Dartmouth Regional Technology Center. He will talk about innovation at Dartmouth’s small business incubator. Registration for the forum is required. To find out more, visit the council’s website at NHHTC.org. The member-driven technology association supports research, innovation, and economic and workforce development efforts.

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