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New Hampshire staffing firm facing bankruptcy

A New Hampshire staffing agency is facing bankruptcy due to growing debts that it says are related to ongoing management disputes at the Market Basket chain of supermarkets. American Resource Staffing Network Inc., based in Bedford, has filed a petition for relief according to documents submitted to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manchester. The filing states that the firm, which handles payroll for more than 1,000 people, is facing debts of $10 million. ARSN itself has 41 employees.

ARSN handles staffing primarily for food industry operations in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The company filed an emergency motion to be able to pay those workers, and the motion was granted on Aug. 1.

According to the filing, ARSN owes more than $8.8 million to the IRS on tax bills covering more than a decade. An addition $1.9 million is owed to the state of Massachusetts, including $1.2 owed to the Department of Revenue and $628,000 to cover workers' compensation taxes. The filing says that the New Hampshire Wage and Hour Division is also a creditor but doesn't disclose how much the company owes. ARSN has said it owes $3 million total to unsecured creditors.

Filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy can permit a company time to restructure its operations in order to continue functioning. The process also allows a firm to begin negotiating with creditors in order to start retiring debts. An attorney may be helpful while a business owner tries to navigate the complexities of the bankruptcy process, especially when trying to negotiate with governments and creditors, and can assist in the preparation of a plan of reorganization.

Source: New Hampshire Business Review , "Market Basket turmoil pushes N.H. staffing firm into bankruptcy", Bob Sanders, August 11, 2014

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