Nearly 200 year old Fall River business closes - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Nearly 200 Year Old Fall River Business Closes

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Nicole Gerber

ngerber@abc6.com

@nicolegerber

FALL RIVER - A Fall River business, open nearly 200 years, is closing its doors for good... unable to stay afloat in a tough economy.

Masonry supply company Building Materials Inc. began as a family business back in the late 1837, and today, workers say they feel more like a family than ever before. Many have worked there for several decades, making it even harder to say goodbye, once and for all.

"We just made a family executive decision that enough was enough," said owner Winthrop Sanford. "When they closed all the mills in the city basically it was a done deal, since 2006 we've seen a steady decline, its been declining ever since."

"And all these little mom and pop shops are opening up along the way and they're intercepting the money from the suburbs... and they're not coming here anymore," said Helder Sousa, who has been with the company for 17 years.

Now the company is liquidating all its products and equipment and waiting for a buyer to take the building off its hands. It's a tough process for the company, which many say, runs more like a family, than a group of employees.

"It's almost like.. like.. like you're getting divorced!" said Sousa.

"That's one of the reasons we held on so long is you know, you feel responsible to all your employees. You can't help it. It's really hard to say enough is enough," said Sanford.

The company has 6 full time employees. They've all been aware of the company's issues for a while now, and many have already lined up new jobs.

As for Sanford... He says between working on his farm and spending time sailing... he'll manage to stay busy.

(C) WLNE-TV 2013

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