Cave City will lose its largest employer next month when UniFirst closes its doors and moves its operations to Mexico. The Cave City Kiwanis Club held a meeting of local and state representatives July 18 to discuss what community leaders could do to assist in finding a company to purchase the facility.
UniFirst began production in 1990 manufacturing uniform dress shirts, work shirts and knit shirts. Gary Nelson, UniFirst general manager, said the company was moving its operations to Mexico due to general economic conditions and the financial impact of the company running three plants at a time of reduced demand.
Sharp County Judge Harold Crawford and Sen. Paul Miller were among approximately 20 representatives present at the meeting.
Crawford commended UniFirst for their involvement in the community. "You're the type of people we're going to be looking for," Crawford told UniFirst employees.
Nelson said UniFirst has solicited bids for real estate appraisals on the building to determine the selling price. He said they expect to have three appraisals, and expect it to be at least 30 days before they actually place the building for sale. Nelson said the building will be an open listing for the first 60 days, and then listed with an exclusive real estate company after that. He said the purpose of the open listing is to allow organizations such as the chamber of commerce and the county an opportunity to place it on their Web sites and solicit prospective buyers.
Representatives from Arkansas Department of Economic Development, White River Planning and Development, Batesville Chamber of Commerce, Cave City Chamber of Commerce and Arkansas Teamwork were also present. UniFirst employees acted as guides as the representatives toured the facility.