Hoffco/Comet closes doors

After 60 years in business, Hoffco/Comet Industries Inc. announced Oct. 19 that it was closing, according to an Oct. 21 article in the Palladium-Item, Richmond, Ind.

According to an additional report by InsideINdianaBusiness.com on Oct. 20, Hoffco/Comet lost its biggest client, John Deere, which represented about half of its business, less than two months before closing, and it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

“A year ago, we were profitable and running well,” Hoffco/Comet CEO John Bratt told the Palladium-Item Oct. 20 in the empty lobby of the company’s plant in Richmond, Ind. “Our backlog dropped off 40 percent in a week (in October 2008). It had always come back in two to three weeks, but it never has. It’s difficult to lose 40 percent of your business and still survive.”

Added Bratt, “We adjusted the best we could, and we didn’t get any better. We didn’t get our stimulus check.”

Attempts by OPE to reach Hoffco/Comet representatives for comment were unsuccessful.

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