It was less than a year ago that President Obama praised Lincolnton furniture as an “insourcer” of American jobs. “These companies are choosing to invest in the one country with the most productive workers, the best universities, and the most creative and innovative entrepreneurs in the world, and that is the United States of America,” he said. He went on to recognize the company’s founder, Bruce Cochrane. Cochrane also sat with Michelle Obama during the president’s State of the Union address and participated in a conversation with the president and business leaders about how to create American jobs.
The Miami Herald reports today, though, that – in “a move that caught the attention of North Carolina officials and those in the White House” – Cochrane’s furniture company has gone out of business. The Herald’s story quotes Cochrane’s uncle, who told the paper, ““I was surprised that they stopped the operation this quickly,” but added, “[S]tarting a furniture business now is very difficult in this country.”