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Motorized chair maker to open Mississippi factory

PONTOTOC — Pride Mobility Products Corp., a maker of motorized wheelchairs and scooters, announced Wednesday that it will open a factory in northeast Mississippi.

Based in Exeter, Pennsylvania, Pride plans to invest $2 million and hire 150 workers at a facility at the former Genesis Furniture factory in Pontotoc, which closed last year.

Federal, state and local governments will give more than $1.8 million to aid the deal. The state will grant $1.5 million in federal community development money to the city of Pontotoc to improve the building. Pontotoc County will get a $300,000 state loan to use toward improvements. The city of Pontotoc, the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Tennessee Valley Authority are giving undisclosed amounts.

“They will manufacture scooters. According to our understanding, the company will begin hiring in the very near future,” said Mississippi Development Authority spokeswoman Marlo Dorsey.

The company’s current factory is in Duryea, Pennsylvania.

“The company did not indicate any operations were leaving Pennsylvania; rather this project’s new location will serve as an expansion for Pride Mobility,” Dorsey said.

Privately-held Pride is controlled by the Meuser family, including former Pennsylvania Revenue Secretary and Republican congressional candidate Dan Meuser. With more than $400 million in revenue, Pride says it’s the world’s largest maker of motorized wheelchairs and scooters. The company also makes power chairs and rehabilitation equipment. The company also has operations in Australia, Canada, China, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

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