Hobbico files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, plans to sell
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCCU) —
The toy company, Hobbico, announced its plans Wednesday to file for bankruptcy and sell the company.
Hobbico’s Corporate Headquarters is located in Champaign, and it’s the 19th largest employer in Champaign County.
The news of bankruptcy was followed by concerns of possible layoffs.
"Careful not to say 'Oh my God, we lost 300 jobs right off,'" Executive Director of Champaign County Economic Development Corporation Craig Rost, said. “But we say we should be very concerned and be working with the company."
On Wednesday, Hobbico released a statement.
The statement said in part, "Hobbico's debt has added too much leverage for the company, and it has been unable to successfully restructure to meet its financial obligations.”
Hours later, the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) reached out to the company.
"We reach out to them and say ‘we're EDC, we’re here to help. What can we do?’” Rost said. “And we've done that.”
Rost said it’s what the EDC does for any major corporation falling on hard times.
Especially, if these changes could lead to layoffs.
"Kick into a kind of, ‘OK how do we help make sure people get jobs out of this?’” Rost said.
The end goal would be to find any displaced employees a new job within the community.
Rost hopes it won’t come to that for Champaign’s Hobbico employees, but said being prepared is in the best interest of the individual, and the local economy.
"A job is a job, and to the person that has that job it's a large thing,” Rost said. “And 300 of them, that's a concern across the community"
Fox Illinois asked Hobbico Human Resources Director Howard Salazar how these changes will affect jobs in Champaign. Salazar responded to other questions but did not respond to that one.