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York-area textile maker folds

Perform Group LLC, one of the region's last remaining textile manufacturers, has shut down, according to a notice filed with the state and to the message that greets phone callers to the company.
  • "Effective Friday June 4, 2021, Perform Group has ceased all operations. Further information will soon be provided to our customers, our suppliers and our associates," the recorded message says.
  • The message is echoed in a notice sent to local officials under the WARN Act. In the notice, company CEO Tighe King wrote that a temporary suspension of operations on May 24 turned into a permanent closure on June 4.
  • "At the time, the company was faltering and the facility closure was expected to be temporary. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the company will not be able to continue operations," King wrote. "All employees are being impacted by this entire facility closure/shut down."  
  • The notice does not give a staff count. But according to public records for Paycheck Protection loans, the textile manufacturer received a loan last April of between $2 million and $5 million to preserve 199 jobs. 
  • "It's always unfortunate when news such as this breaks, particularly with a company that has been an institution in York County and its industry," Kevin Schreiber, president and CEO of the York County Economic Alliance, wrote in a text message to biznewsPA. "We understand this is an incredibly challenging time and many businesses are left with very difficult decisions to make. Our team, partner organizations and state government will be ready to assist those impacted employees."

Why is this happening: It's not clear. Efforts Monday to reach King or the company were not successful.
  • News stories last spring suggested the company had taken a hit in its main business of making apparel for dance and gymnastics -- group activities that became more complicated during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The company had furloughed employees, according to an article in the York Daily Record. But the company said it was recalling them -- and hiring up to 90 more -- to make masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment, which were in high demand last spring.
  • “It’s a win for the company as a business. It’s a win for trying to serve the needs out there,” King told local TV station CBS 21 at the time.
  • Recent LinkedIn posts and web profiles position the company as a contract manufacturer for other apparel brands.

The background: Perform Group traces its roots to a business that was taken on in 1969 by Tighe King, and his father, Leroy, and Leroy's wife, Eleanor, according to a 2020 obituary for Leroy King. The company operated two plants, at 333 E. Seventh Ave. in North York borough and at 5130 E. Prospect Road in Lower Windsor Township. 
  • Textile production mostly left the U.S. over the last 50 years but Perform Group specialized in a niche where a "Made in the USA" label still carried value.
  • Its garments -- made under the Alpha Group and Curtain Call brands -- have appeared in venues from the Olympics to the Super Bowl, as well as countless dance recitals.

Quick takes

WHO'S HIRING: Penn State Health. The Dauphin County-based health system has named Deborah Addo as its next COO. Addo is expected to start in August and succeeds Alan Brechbill, who retired last year. Addo currently is COO of Inova Loudoun Hospital in Northern Virginia.
  • Named by Becker's Hospital Review as one of the 50 great African American leaders to know in health care, Addo has been with Inova since 2014.
  • She worked previously as COO for Meritus Health in Hagerstown, Maryland.

WHO ELSE IS HIRING: Stambaugh Ness. The accounting firm in Springettsbury Township, York County, brought on a new CFO last month after retiring the role in 2018, according to spokesperson Jessica Cheri. Tom Swietek joined Stambaugh Ness after holding finance roles for several New Jersey companies, most recently at BEM Systems, an engineering and information management firm in Chatham.
  • At Stambaugh Ness, Swietek focuses on overseeing and improving the firm's financial functions, strengthening its financial team and driving profitable growth, according to Cheri.
  • Swietek earned an accounting degree from Rider University and an executive MBA in finance from Rutgers. 

The background: Stambaugh Ness employs 167 people overall, including 130 who work remotely, including Swietek, according to Cheri. 
  • The firm's recent growth outside Central PA includes the acquisition last fall of CPA firm T. Wayne Owens & Associates in Augusta, Georgia, and consulting firm TWO CPAs & Consultants, a consulting firm in Dublin, Ohio.
  • Wayne Owens, owner of both firms, joined Stambaugh Ness, along with others from the two firms, according to a press release.

WHAT SOLD: A manufactured-home development in Rapho Township, Lancaster County. A Michigan company paid $7.2 million for the 133-site community, dubbed Ridgewood Manor, according to county deed records. The buyer, RHP Properties, operates 299 manufactured-home communities across the U.S., including 11 in Pennsylvania.
  • Ridgewood Manor is a pet-friendly community just off Route 283 north of Lancaster city.
  • "Nearby to jobs, shopping and mass transit, we are proud to offer an affordable housing option in this region and look forward to providing our more than 30 years of stable management and ownership experience to our residents," RHP Properties CEO Ross Partrich said in a statement.
  • The seller was Ridgewood Manor Inc., based in Hummelstown, according to deed records.

WHO'S PERMANENT: Michael J. Hussey. The interim dean for Commonwealth Law School for the past year has been named to the post on a permanent basis, starting July 1. Hussey has been teaching at the law school in Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County, since 2004.
  • Hussey replaces Christian Johnson, who resigned last year after five years as dean.
  • Before being named interim dean, Hussey was the law school's associate dean for academic affairs. He teaches and writes in the areas of taxation, business organization, wills and trusts.
  • Hussey is founder of Commonwealth Law's business law advising program and has directed the school's volunteer income tax assistance program, which provides tax-prep services for taxpayers with low to moderate incomes.

WHAT'S ON ROUND 2: The Lancaster City Small Business Emergency Fund. Backed by Assets and Community First Fund -- both based in Lancaster -- as well as the city, the fund is offering $700,000 in low-interest loans. The application window is scheduled to open June 14.
  • The new lending round is focused on restaurants, barber shops, hair salons and arts/entertainment businesses with annual revenue of less than $2 million.
  • The goal is to help small businesses including those owned by minorities, that have had trouble gaining access to federal relief programs and are continuing to suffer.
  • Loans are capped at $40,000.

The background: The emergency fund was created last year to assist the city's small businesses as they struggled to survive the Covid-19 pandemic. It disbursed roughly $835,000 in loans and grants last June, according to a report on the program.
  • Funding came from the city, Assets and Community First, as well as some private-sector donors, including Fulton Bank, the High Foundation, the Ferree Foundation and investment firm Rodgers & Associates
  • The fund opened with about $1.5 million.


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Compiled and written by Joel Berg

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