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Promotions Unlimited, owned by Roosevelt Capital LLC, terminated all of its 50-plus employees today telling them that they could no longer continue operating because their bank loan fell through, according to one employee.

Mount Pleasant-based Promotions Unlimited, which supplies retail stores with dollar store items and promotional materials, has been in business for more than 35 years, according to its Facebook page.

Michelle Humburg, seminar director at Promotions Unlimited, told the Racine County Eye that the owner, Ira Greenberg, pulled about 50 employees into a cafeteria and told them the news.

“They told us that they were really sorry, but their bank loan had not come through,” Humburg said. “They said they didn’t have enough to pay us for our work this week and couldn’t, in good conscience, have us keep working knowing they couldn’t pay us.

“So we’re out a weeks worth of pay.”

Humburg has worked at Promotions Unlimited since 2003. When she started they employed 235 people, but over the last two years staffing levels have dwindled. While the news was a shock, it wasn’t entirely a surprise since the company wasn’t receiving or shipping any merchandise for several weeks.

“Stores were calling and complaining that their merchandise hadn’t been shipped to them, vendors were calling saying they hadn’t been paid,” Humburg said. “Yesterday I had a tracking company president call me and tell me that they wouldn’t be shipping anymore merchandise because they hadn’t received payment.”

Some of the employees that had been terminated had been employed at the company for more than 30 years.

Mount Pleasant Village President Jerry Garski said that he had heard the company had had problems, but didn’t know that it had shut down.

Companies with more than 25 people — usually — are required to notify the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

“If a business is closing — whether its permanent or a temporary shutdown with 25 or more employees, they are required to file a WARN notice,” said John Dipko, spokesperson for the agency. “However, there are a number of exceptions and I’m not certain that this company does or doesn’t meet those.”

According to state records, no WARN notices were filed.

Michelle White, the granddaughter of the owners Ira and Lorraine Greenberg, recently left the company. White acknowledged the layoffs. But said she did not want to speak for her grandparents.

“Yes, it’s been a very hard day for the many people who worked at Promotions,” she said.

Calls and emails to the Greenberg’s were not returned.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.