The announcement that Justin Boots would close their factories in both Cassville and Carthage earlier this week rocked both communities. The negative economic impact hits hard. Together, both manufacturing sites had around 300 employees, most of which were furloughed in March in response to the COVID-19 situation.

Workers had expected to return to work but this week, Justin Boots made the following statement:

"The closure of the Justin and Chippewa factories in Cassville and Carthage, Missouri, was a difficult decision brought about by unprecedented times. Unfortunately, the economic reality has forced us to make hard decisions that are necessary to sustain the legacy of our brands long into the future. We recognize the skill that has gone into the footwear produced in Missouri over the years, which is why we have asked our Missouri workers to consider the possibility of relocating to one of our other factories. Making high quality boots is an art, and we value their skills, loyalty, and dedication."

Justin Boots outlet stores in Monett and Joplin will remain open.

Justin Brands dates back to the late 1870's and is a division of H. H. Brown Shoe Co.Both are owned by American business magnate Warren Buffett's company, Berkshire Hathaway. The company's headquarters are based in Fort Worth, Texas. Their slogan is "handcrafting authentic, western footwear since 1879, Justin Boots is the standard of the West." On their website, it states that "Justin Boots is the largest domestic manufacturer of footwear in the country."

The company's headquarters are based in Fort Worth, Texas.