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Bucks County dealer of forklifts and warehouse equipment growing again

Modern Group Ltd. took a huge hit during the recession. The company based in the Bucks County township of Bristol distributes forklifts, generators, construction vehicles and equipment used in warehouses, and the downturn in the housing market knocked out nearly half of its income.

Dave Griffith, Modern Group's president and CEO, says it was a big enough feat for the company to survive. To do that, it switched its focus last year to industrial customers who need forklifts and equipment to handle goods in warehouses. It sold the arm of its business that rented construction equipment and closed a dozen locations. About 300 workers left, about one-third through layoffs.

Griffith says focusing on the industrial market made sense. For one thing, that was historically Modern Group's core business. A massive construction project adding new locks to the Panama Canal is expected to bring more traffic to East Coast ports, meaning more demand for the equipment Modern Group sells. The company is already seeing a 40 percent increase in sales over last year. And PNC recently agreed to extend it $22 million in credit to pay for day-to-day expenses and the costs of meeting increasing demand.

Griffith says Modern Group now employs about 400 people and is looking to hire more.

Source: Dave Griffith, Modern Group Ltd.
Writer: Rebecca VanderMeulen
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