Cleveland's Hardwick Clothes files for bankruptcy - WSMV Channel 4

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Cleveland's Hardwick Clothes files for bankruptcy

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Hardwick Clothes 33-year employee Jana Casteel performs a final inspection on a sports coat. Chattanooga Times Free Press file photo Hardwick Clothes 33-year employee Jana Casteel performs a final inspection on a sports coat. Chattanooga Times Free Press file photo
CLEVELAND, TN (Times Free Press) -

America's oldest privately held clothing manufacturer has filed for bankruptcy after a federal pension protection agency ordered the company to replenish its underfunded retirement plan.

But the owners of the 133-year-old Hardwick Clothes Inc., insist the business remains viable and will continue operations while it reorganizes its finances -- and perhaps negotiates a sale or new investment in the company --under the protection of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

"We're certainly not insolvent," said Tommy Hopper, the fifth generation CEO of the family-owned company in Cleveland, Tenn. "Our building and assets are free and clear and we've always paid our bills so this was not a decision we entered into lightly.

"But we feel like we had to file a Chapter 11 petition (in bankruptcy court) to protect our business and its 225 employees. This is really the only course of action that we had."

Read more from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.


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