Hundreds of people learned Tuesday they will need to seek new employment come August when the WestPoint Plant shuts down. While their situation is near impossible, the impact of the plant closure will be much more widespread.
One day after the announcement came down from WestPoint Headquarters that the plant is closing, the town of Abbeville is left wondering, especially those involved in local business.
Business Owner Winnie Landsverk said, “Most of them had accounts where they bought their children clothes. They come in here and eat and they shop here and with no money, they're not going to be able to do any of that."
Operation costs are going up in the restaurant industry already with prices for produce and gas steadily rising, but local owners think the first thing people stop doing when they lose a job is dine out.
"The disposable income of the people of Abbeville is going away with the closing of the plant. I'm not certain of our future here at Stormys. We love Abbeville, it's a nice close knit community, but business is business and we possibly may not be here by the end of the year," said Bill Knight.
While optimism is currently in short quantity in Abbeville, Mayor Rhett Taylor is confident that the city can relocate a new business into the WestPoint facility.
"We also have purchased a new industrial park here so that while we are doing this we're running that by all the people in the different departments that we're discussing this with. There’s a possibility that may come into play also," said Mayor Taylor.
The loss off WestPoint in Abbeville will leave a void, but as one resident told us, we've hit rough spots before and we can recover.
Mayor Taylor said he couldn't reveal the names of the potential businesses with their eyes on the soon to be vacated facility. But he made sure to say as long as he's in office his goal will be to bring new business to Abbeville.
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