Conover small-business owner Dan Timmerman’s business and political spheres mirror some of the most powerful economic trends sweeping North Carolina. His personal story exemplifies the diverging track of big corporations and metro areas with Main Street companies in more rural parts.
Timmerman’s family business opened in 1962, mostly forging metal pieces used in furniture made in Hickory, Morganton and High Point. By the mid-1970s he had as many as 110 employees, benefiting from the industry’s peak years. By the 1980s, many furniture makers were cutting jobs, moving operations to lower-cost foreign markets, or closing.