Lumber company with local ties lays off hundreds

Coastal Lumber Company recently announced that it was going out of business, laying off more than 350 employees in four states.

In an e-mail received by C-VILLE, Coastal Lumber’s Charlottesville-based management team cited the “prolonged downturn” in the economy, and said that on August 11, the company’s bank ordered the termination of all Coastal employees.

In the statement, Coastal said that in late July, Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T) decided that it would “no longer support Coastal’s strategic reorganization.” After BB&T asked Coastal owners to “make concessions they were not willing to make,” the bank directed them to obtain alternative funding.

The e-mail also stated that the company is looking for other financing with hope to “resume doing business as soon as possible.” Coastal Lumber declined to comment for this story.

According to Businessweek, Coastal’s layoffs were the heaviest in West Virginia, where the company had nearly 200 employees. It also employed 68 workers in Pennsylvania, 67 in North Carolina, six executives in Virginia and 30 others companywide.

A statement from BB&T to C-VILLE reads as follows:

“At BB&T we work with our clients as best we can for as long as we can when clients have financial difficulties. Any type of foreclosure proceedings are our very last option. It is in BB&T’s interest to see its clients succeed. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. In the course of working with them, we do not make decisions for our clients regarding employment or operations.”

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