Regions Southern Virginia

Bassett Furniture investing $1.5 million in Henry sites

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Bassett Furniture has been in Henry County for more
than 100 years. Photo by Steven Mantilla

Bassett Furniture is expanding in Henry County. It plans to invest $1.5 million in new equipment and add 22 employees during the next few years in three locations in Henry County. That was good news for Mark Heath, president and CEO of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp.

“We do anything we can do to support and keep a business like Bassett, which has both manufacturing and a corporate headquarters here,” he says. “Keeping a business is always very competitive.”

Bassett received a $95,000 grant from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund of the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, along with $53,502 in Henry County Enterprise Zone grants over five years.

The company has been in Henry County for more than 100 years. “We are thankful for its continued investment and growth in Martinsville-Henry County,” Heath says.

The Bassett expansion is a result of growth in the furniture industry. The company now has 91 stores across the U.S. The newest one opened in King of Prussia, Pa., in April.

During the expansion project, the company will install a new finishing system at its Martinsville Table Plant, upgrade its corporate offices in Bassett and expand its finishing operation for the Bench*Made lines it produces in Bassett.

The company let Heath know about its expansion plans in late 2016. When most local companies expand, they consider other locations outside the area as well, Heath says. “We have lost other corporate headquarters to North Carolina before. We wanted to be proactive and do everything we could to make sure they knew how much they are appreciated,” he says.

Bassett’s story is quite remarkable, he adds. Some of the things Robert H. Spilman Jr., Bassett chairman and CEO, said in past statements resonated with local officials.

“He called Bassett a 100-year-old start-up,” Heath says. “It was a company that had to remake itself as a new company while still being operational. They have gone upscale in what they produce. People wanted higher quality, and Bassett figured out a way to make that work for them.”   

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