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204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
Toll Free: 800-234-6575

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Business receives grant

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Applied Felts Inc. has been awarded a matching grant of more than $220,000 toward an expansion of its product line.

The company, based at the Bowles Industrial Park in Henry County, in 2011 announced a $6 million expansion anticipated to create 40 jobs. The grant is to help the company develop new products as part of the expansion, said Bill Donohue, vice president of operations for the GENEDGE Alliance.

Specifically, the Innovation Commercialization Matching Fund Grant Award will help the company offset high costs for stringent testing certifications and prototype production involving scientific expertise and specialized contracting services, a GENEDGE release stated.

Applied Felts manufactures felt liners used to strengthen aging water and sewer lines that may crack, enabling sediment to enter the lines and cause clogs that hinder water and sewage treatments, a company official has said.

One-third of the grant is being provided by Martinsville-based GENEDGE, a business consulting organization that helps companies in Virginia develop products and improve their performances and competitive advantages.

Another third is being provided by the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, with the other third being contributed by the company itself, according to Donohue.

Del. Danny Marshall, R-Danville and a tobacco commission member, said the commission’s “main goal is to help rebuild Southside Virginia’s economy.”

“This award represents a significant investment in Southside Virginia not only for business growth but for jobs development as well,” he said. “It is very clear that this investment will provide a superior return on investment for the region as well as renewed confidence in U.S. manufacturing.”

“For years, GENEDGE has assisted us with continuous improvement and engineering services as we expanded our operations to service demand in current markets,” said Mark Sanders, general manager of Applied Felts.

“Now, we can take advantage of their innovation services to expand our business with new customers and new markets,” Sanders said in the release.

He and other Applied Felts executives could not be reached Wednesday for further comment about the grant or the company’s expansion.


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