1980s – Expansion and Opportunity
The Industrial Park’s second tenant was the fledgling Tender Corp, which in the early 1980s built on a two-lot section of the Industrial Park visible from Interstate-93. With the increased visibility, LIDC committed to Phase II of developing the Park, namely purchasing additional land and continuing to expand infrastructure to the Park.
Funding for the Phase II price tag of $755,000 came from federal Economic Development Administration ($481,000) and FmHA ($16,000) grants, a town commitment $82,000, and loans totaling $176,000 from three local banks.
Other businesses soon set up shop in the Industrial Park, including Schwann’s Sales, Inc. and Harrison Publishing House, which remain in the park today. Meanwhile, LIDC and the Chamber of Commerce collaborated to fill vacant shoe factories at the other end of town.
Drawn in part by Littleton’s low industrial power rates, Hitchiner Manufacturing of Milford, NH, opened a plant in Littleton in 1984, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by former Gov. Sherman Adams and then-Gov. John Sununu. By 1990, Hitchiner employed some 300 area residents. In 1993 the company purchased another vacant shoe factory building, increasing their employment to 750. The company remained an integral part of the economic landscape for more than two decades before winding down local operations and eventually shuttering its Littleton plants in 2016.