Published 1:40 pm Saturday, September 27, 2014

We take them at their word when the new Narricot owners, AEC Narrow Fabrics, say that the plant they recently acquired will factor heavily into their future plans, and that Boykins will not be forgotten.

In a statement to The Tidewater News, AEC’s CEO Larry Himes said they are committed to Boykins and Virginia, in that they intend to invest in the plant and that the acquisition of the seat-belt plant would be an important part of their company portfolio.

Over the next 6-9 months, however, there will be a transition that will lead to significant layoffs. Boykins Mayor Spier Edwards estimated that of the 177 employees currently working there, 80-90 would be let go.

The Town of Boykins, thanks to its successful downtown initiative, has seen somewhat of a revival in recent years. Many new businesses have opened, such as The Hungry Rooster and Boykins Beans and Ice Cream.

The owners of both restaurants each mentioned this week that some of their customer base works at Narricot. While the business owners did not want to sound the alarm just yet, one mentioned that she hopes they keep as many employees on the payroll as they can.

So, when the owners say that they want to invest in Boykins and Virginia, we hope that by streamlining the operation they are able to expand it as they claim. It could mean more for the Town of Boykins than just the Narricot factory if they do not.