Lyman Company to Stay Thanks to MassDevelopment

April 14, 2010 : The Reminder, by G. Michael Dobbs

CHICOPEE – William Wright, the president of John R. Lyman Company, said that since his firm’s largest supplier is in Tennessee and his biggest customer is in South Carolina there would have been an argument to relocate his business to the South. Thanks to a $2.2 million tax exempt industrial bond the company has obtained through MassDevelopment the company will be staying in Chicopee.

The company was founded in Springfield in 1906 and moved to Chicopee in 1937. It manufactures wiping cloths used in high tech clean rooms and other manufacturing facilities.

“As the third-generation owner of the John R. Lyman Company, I am delighted to continue our commitment to Chicopee and to our local workforce,” Wright said. “We have been manufacturing in this area for 104 years and hope to continue for many generations to come.”

Wright explained to Reminder Publications the loan would be used to renovate an existing building at the Westover Industrial Park. Currently the company has its operations in three mill buildings in downtown Chicopee and two rented warehouses in West Springfield. All of the company’s operations would be transferred into the new facility.

Wright said the effort to land the loan and stay in Chicopee has taken “well over a year.” The move was necessary, he said, because “our business has changed significantly so it no longer matches up with our infrastructure.”

The company employs 85 people and Wright said part of the agreement with MassDevelopment concerns job growth. He said an additional five jobs should be added.

Wright anticipates the new building will be ready for use sometime in the first quarter of 2011. Of the three buildings currently used, Wright said that one would be put on the market for sale, one is not suitable for resale and another will continue to be used by the company for several more years.

Despite the challenges American manufacturing is facing, Wright is convinced “it’s a good time to do this.”

Wright is now hoping to finalize talks with city officials to receive a tax break.

Mayor Michael Bissonnette said the city is looking at doing a tax incentive financing piece as a part of the overall loan package for the Lyman company. The city tax incentive will qualify them for additional tax incentives for the state, he said.

“John R. Lyman has been a longtime member of the Pioneer Valley’s manufacturing community, and we’re pleased this financing can help the company grow in Chicopee,” MassDevelopment President and CEO Robert L. Culver said. “This project is just one more piece of the exciting puzzle that is coming together with commercial and industrial development in the city.”

© Copyright 2010 The Reminder.