The Paper Store, the Acton-based, family-owned business with 86 stores in the Northeast, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The company filed a 31-page motion in U.S. District Court in Worcester Tuesday, in which representatives said the filing was prompted by the financial blow brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports.
The Paper Store is hoping the move will keep its business afloat and save approximately 2,000 jobs, including its Leominster warehouse that employs up to 200 people, according to the newspaper.
“This is an effort to save the company, to continue the company, to save the jobs, and to find a new owner that has the capital to do that,” Paul J. Ricotta, a Mintz Levin lawyer representing the business, told the Telegram & Gazette.
According to the newspaper, the economic shutdowns caused by the global pandemic left The Paper Store without the money needed to buy inventory for the holiday season, the business’s busiest time of the year.
The company hopes to have a buyer by late August in order to have the resources to make those orders, the publication reports. Motions filed in court this week would allow The Paper Store to continue business in the meantime.
The filing says the company typically has 50 full-time employees at the Leominster warehouse, where, seasonally, the company employs up to 200 people. The company, which has locations across Massachusetts, furloughed most of its employees over the course of the pandemic, however, about 393 full-time workers and 554 part-time employees were employed as of Tuesday.
“It is the hope and goal of the debtors, through the consummation of the anticipated … sale, to reemploy all of the approximately 2,000 employees who previously worked for The Paper Store,” the company says.