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A local furniture manufacturer is expanding once again.

H.M. Richards officials welcomed dignitaries from across the region as the furniture maker broke ground on an 86,000 square foot expansion.

The new facility will act primarily as a warehouse for the company, headquartered in the Harry A. Martin North Lee Industrial Complex.

Company officials say business has been steady, despite a sluggish economy.

“We’ve added two production lines this year, we employ about 650 employees and quite frankly , this expansion is a reflection on the efforts they put in each day, to build a quality product that is sellable. Certainly, the economy has been struggling recently, in last few years we have maintained profitability all during this time,” said H.M. Richards Vice President of Operations Joey Tarrant.

The new warehouse should be finished by early 2013.

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