By Dennis Seid
PONTOTOC – The furniture industry has long been a staple in Pontotoc County, and its ties to the area were reinforced Monday with the announcement of additional industry-related jobs.
Brooks and Dehart Furniture Xpress has opened a terminal in a 67,000-square-foot building on Stafford Boulevard, creating at least 35 jobs.
In addition, Eaton Custom Seating is adding nearly 13,000 square feet of manufacturing space to its 110,000-square-foot facility in addition to a new parking area and adding 20 jobs.
Brooks and Dehart, based in Newton, North Carolina, is a furniture-only logistics and delivery company. It primarily serves customers in Florida and Georgia, and the Pontotoc facility also will serve the same markets.
Company president Anthony Brooks said Pontotoc was ideally located for his company.
“This is the upholstered furniture capital of the world, and we’re working with several manufacturers now,” he said.
The company has been in business since 1999 and employs 125 in North Carolina.
Having been open for two weeks in Pontotoc, Brooks and Dehart already had 10 employees and expect to have 20 by the end of the year.
“We’re looking to have 30 to 40 by next year,” Brooks said.
The company is investing $2.8 million in the project. The Mississippi Development Authority helped with a $520,000 community development block grant, while Pontotoc County contributed $15,000 in in-kind site work.
Meanwhile, Eaton Custom Seating has been a fixture in the county for 50 years. It makes seating for the hospitality and health care industries and employs 130.
“We’re not a global company, but we do have global reach,” said company president Greg Marx. “We have customers in several places around the world. We have a lot of fine craftsmen and craftswomen who work for us.”
Eaton is investing $500,000 for its expansion, and also is receiving $136,000 from the MDA’s Rural Improvement Fund, more than $616,000 from a CAP loan and more than $14,000 from the city.