Murfreesboro Daily News JournalPublished 11:13 AM EDT Jun 30, 2020MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Home decor retailer Old Time Pottery announced Monday morning that it has started Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in order to restructure its finances.Based in Murfreesboro, the company said the move was due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”Prior to COVID-19, Old Time Pottery was growing profitability at a near-record pace. When COVID-19 hit in March 2020, the company experienced a sudden and precipitous decline in sales that lasted for six weeks with mandates to close numerous store locations in accordance with state and local government regulations,” the company said in a news release.The company incurred “significant short-term debts” in order to keep operations afloat during two of its busiest months for sales, the release said. Relief for low-paid workers: Minimum wage hikes in three states, 21 localities plannedDining out: These are America’s favorite dining and fast food restaurantsAs part of the Chapter 11 effort, Old Time Pottery will close stores in Fayetteville, N.C., North Charleston, S.C., Rockford, Ill., and Orlando.No reductions in staffing or other closures are expected at other stores, distribution centers or store support centers, the release said. Old Time Pottery operates 43 stores in 11 states, according to its website.Old Time Pottery officials said the company is expected to emerge from the filing with stronger operations as it did following the recession in 2008. A number of other businesses have announced plans to file Chapter 11 in recent weeks, including Tuesday Morning and Chuck E. Cheese.Reach Mealand Ragland-Hudgins at 615-278-5160 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.