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Business of the Year Shut Down

December 23, 1998

OSWEGO, N.Y. (AP) _ A car dealership that was named business of the year ended up having a bad year and has been shut down.

Port City Ford-Mercury closed abruptly on Dec. 3 after Marine Midland Bank went to court claiming Port City had missed loan payments.

The Oswego County Sheriff’s Department seized more than 100 vehicles at the dealership this month, and the bank will decide soon whether to sell them through a public auction or in bulk to another local dealer, said bank spokeswoman Kathleen Rizzo Young.

Last summer, the dealership was named the 1998 business of the year by the Greater Oswego Chamber of Commerce.

However, some former employees told the Syracuse newspapers that Port City was overstaffed and carried a debt load too high to survive. The dealership employed 38 people at its peak size this year.

The bank is seeking $2.7 million from Michael Brairton, Port City’s president, according to court papers.

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