Plant Closings Affects Local Businesses

By: Patrick Claybon Email
By: Patrick Claybon Email

Things looked bleak in the city of Abbeville after the announcement of the Westpoint Stevens closing over a month ago.

"With the closing of the plant, I'm not certain of our future here at Stormy’s. 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 the Owner of Stormy’s Restaurant in Abbeville.

So, what has happened with Stormy's? Now, the restaurant is no longer open for lunch. They are open 4PM to 9PM, but other restaurants are still doing fine in the area.

"They cut their lunch breaks down to 20 minutes so that really didn't give us any of the business,” said Tammy Barnhill, manager of Genes Country Cooking. “So, it's not really affecting our business as them coming over here eating at break time."

While some restaurants saw an immediate impact on the announcement of the Westpoint closing, some asked, what about other businesses that rely on consumer confidence and profit outlook for their success?

"When business is good, shipping is good,” said Jimmy Weems of Federal Express. “The people when the plant closes, I think their spending habits will change drastically.”

After speaking to some real estate agents and those in the construction industry, they say things are steady as people moving into Abbeville haven't been affected with the decline in morale that the rest of the city might have experienced.

However, once the revenue and tax numbers come in, in the next few months, we'll know for sure.

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