Fairfield business to stay open, keep its jobs

Harper Brush, a 112-year-old Fairfield company, won't shut down or be forced to eliminate jobs.

After heading to bankruptcy court and finding a buyer, 44 jobs provided by Harper Brush will be kept in Fairfield.

The 112-year-old company is Fairfield's oldest business and manufactures industrial cleaning tools and household products.

The company went to court in Des Moines in the summer of 2011, and the court gave the company until December 2011 to find a buyer, or else it would have to close its doors and eliminate the jobs along with it.

Now, Cequent Consumer Products out of Ohio has taken Harper Brush under its management and has already started operations and production. All 44 jobs will be kept, which is about as best as the Fairfield Economic Development Association, the city of Fairfield and Harper Brush could have hoped for.

"I believe this is about the best case scenario and the best we could have hoped for," said Tracy Vance, Executive Director of the Fairfield Economic Development Association. "Like I said, I believe it's 44 employees and those are going to remain in place and hopefully we can help them, work with them and build the business back up and I'm pretty confident that we'll be able to add to those employee numbers over the next year or two years."

Vance said the company is in a transition period while things get back to normal, but the important part -- the jobs -- aren't going anywhere.