Governor Roy Cooper announced that the Town of Robbins has been awarded a $74,000 Building Reuse Grant approved by the N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority to support the expansion of Minhas Furniture House, Inc. in Robbins.
The Building Reuse Grant Program is managed by the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division. The Program provides grants to local governments to renovate vacant buildings, renovate and/or expand buildings occupied by existing North Carolina companies, and renovate, expand, or construct health care facilities that will lead to the creation of new jobs in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties and in rural census tracts of Tier 3 counties. Moore County has a Tier 3 designation.
Grant funds are passed through the local government and managed as a reimbursement to the building owner to offset up to 50% of the costs of repairing and renovating the building to meet the company’s operational requirements. The grant does not require any local cash match.
Minhas Furniture House, also doing business as Flair, is a family-owned furniture manufacturer started in 1997 in Canada. Headquartered in Calgary, the company operates facilities in Canada, the United States, China, and South America and has both manufacturing and wholesale operations. They specialize in sofas, chairs, bedroom suites, and dining sets.
Minhas is not new to Robbins as the company has operated there since 2018. They own the 125,000 square-foot facility at 6844 NC Highway 705 in Robbins that previously housed Klaussner Furniture. In June, Minhas purchased the 153,700+/- square-foot former hosiery mill located at 824 Hemp Street Extension in Robbins to accommodate the significant growth they have been experiencing this year. They will also continue to operate in the Highway 705 building.
Minhas currently employs sixty-six (66) full-time employees in Robbins and has committed to creating a minimum of 18 new full-time jobs over the two-year term of the Building Reuse grant. Within 5 years, the company anticipates doubling their current workforce by hiring another 50 full-time positions. These positions include plant supervisor, assistant plant supervisor, office assistant, upholsterers, shippers, receivers, and general laborers. The grant will help offset the almost $400,000 they expect to spend to renovate the Hemp Street facility, and the total project investment will be over $2.4 million.
“It made perfect sense seizing the opportunity to support Minhas and its impressive expansion within the Town of Robbins,” said Clint Mack, Robbins Town Manager. “Minhas represents the growth and job creation our community values and welcomes. Sponsoring this project is the outcome of great collaboration between public, private, and government entities working toward a common economic goal in Moore County.”
Partners in Progress, the nonprofit public/private economic development organization serving all of Moore County, assisted the Town of Robbins and Minhas in preparing the Building Reuse grant application and will continue to assist the project by providing administrative support over the grant’s term.
“In just 3 years, Minhas has breathed life back into not one, but two, vacant industrial buildings in northern Moore County, putting them to productive use again and making a substantial investment in Robbins both in new job creation and capital investment,” said Natalie Hawkins, Executive Director of Partners in Progress. “Minhas’ expansion and sustained success in Robbins clearly shows that the Town, with its strong manufacturing heritage, is a great location for new and expanding industries.”
To further support Minhas’ expansion, the N.C. Department of Commerce has also approved workforce training valued at $21,600 that the company can receive through the N.C. Community College System’s Customized Training Program. Sandhills Community College will work with Minhas at the local level to develop a comprehensive training plan to meet the company’s specific workforce development requirements.
“This Building Reuse grant and the customized training assistance will help us extensively with our expansion plans as we seek to ramp up our production to meet increased customer demand,” said Minhas’ CEO Bill Minhas. “We greatly appreciate the tremendous support we have received from the N.C. Department of Commerce, the Economic Development Partnership of N.C., the Town of Robbins, Moore County, Partners in Progress, and the general community.”
Minhas recently demonstrated their commitment to the Town by donating $5,000 to Elise Middle School. “This is to express our appreciation to Robbins for their ongoing support of our business,” said Minhas. “Robbins has been very good for us, and we always like to give back to the community. We believe kids’ education is the best investment we can make.”
Minhas is currently hiring to fill multiple positions. Interested candidates are encouraged to contact the company at:
6844 NC Highway 705
Robbins, NC 27325
Feature photo: Aerial photograph of Minhas factory via Facebook.