• Cinde Ingram

Carter Grandle closes, reopens

Company has secured investors

Despite attempts to secure additional capital and promises it would stay in business, Sarasota, Fla.-based Carter Grandle closed its doors on Nov. 10, 2006. A month later, the manufacturer had secured local investors and restarted production.
      “We have investors; it will be a lot stronger going forward,” said Webb Carter, who reclaimed the title of president and CEO in response to customer requests. “We have made a deal with the bank and it was good, I’m glad we held out.” As of early November, the company owed $1.2 million to LaSalle Bank, which would not fund it to operate and secure more raw materials, Carter said.
      His son Courtland Carter, who had served as president since 2002, will remain with the company as vice president.
      “We are bringing in new people and making some changes,” Carter said. For example, he said design work will be on a contract basis rather than a staff position, most recently held by Scott Coogan, who was vice president of design/product development. Some other employees began work again the week of Dec. 11 and Carter expected to be at full production by the start of 2007.
      “We’re not taking Christmas or New Year’s (holidays); we’ve got a lot orders to get out and we’re two months behind,” Carter said. “We’re going to be working at least 10 hours a day, six days a week to get caught up. If we have to work longer than that, we will.”