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Why century-old ‘institution’ is shutting down in Henrico County

Longtime Henrico printing company shuts down over COVID-19 pandemic 
Posted at 6:50 PM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 18:51:59-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Margaret Thompson founded the Richmond Family Magazine in August 2009. Since then, nearly every edition of her popular monthly has been printed in one location.

“It was very shocking that this pandemic is taking down a 125 year old Richmond institution,” Thompson said.

Cadmus Specialty Publications on Byrdhill Road will cease operations permanently by May 31, according to a WARN notice filed Monday by the facility’s owner Cenveo Worldwide Ltd.

“It was definitely a surprise they were closing altogether,” she recalled.

The Lakeside printer’s origins span back more than a century when it was once called The William Byrd Press.

Thompson’s customer service representative worked for there for more than 50 years.

“Everyone probably knows someone who has worked for Cadmus,” she stated.

The company said 184 employees will be laid off by the end of May. They will soon join the growing number of Americans out of work.

New jobs numbers released on Thursday show about 60,000 additional Virginia workers applied for unemployment benefits last week.

Three million Americans filed jobless claims last week totaling more than 33 million people out of work. Economists say one in five Americans who were employed before the pandemic began have now lost their job.

The Stamford, Conn. based printing company cited the COVID-19 pandemic for the closure.

“One large customer has ceased all work permanently, several publishers have cancelled or delayed their print projects, and nearly all comic production has ceased,” the company said.

Richmond Bizsense first spoke to Thompson about the impacts the closure will have on her local magazine.

“There used to be a lot of options in Richmond for printing the magazine, but that industry has shrunk over time,” Thompson explained.

Thompson said their summer double issue due in June likely won’t be printed in Central Virginia.

“I think we will probably have to leave Richmond [for our printing], which is sad because we loved being able to support the local economy. We loved being able to say we were 100 percent locally produced,” she said.

RFM joined Virginia Living, Virginia Business, Richmond Magazine and other local publications tasked with finding a new printing facility.

Cenveo Worldwide Ltd. has offered to assist the owners with finding new printers.

Thompson has grown her magazine since its inception: from 36 pages and 24,000 copies printed for its first issue to now 100 pages and almost 50,000 copies.

Richmond Family Magazine strived to provide their readers with their routine publication during a chaotic time. Thompson said that won’t change.

“It’s still going to go,” she said. “We haven’t missed one issue because of this and we don’t plan on it.”

Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for the most complete coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Precautions

Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.