SRS Layoffs Mean Shaky Economies For Small Towns - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

SRS Layoffs Mean Shaky Economies For Small Towns

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Jackson, SC -

Things have changed a lot since Cecil Butler first rolled into Jackson in 1952.

"My uncle was here at the site and getting big money," Butler says, "so I jumped in a little Ford car and got a camper trailer and come on out."

Then, businesses were booming around the site.

"This right over here was the main store when I came here, you could get everything here," he says gesturing.

Now, storefronts are increasingly shuttering.

"We're a little country community that's trying to survive," says Postmaster Nancy Goff. "That's been our bread and butter in Jackson for years."

Since the spring, when SRS started furloughs, Jackson has lost a restaurant, gas stations, and an auto repair shop.  The bank has cut back its hours, and even the post office is feeling the hit.

"We have a revenue goal we're to maintain every week and we are nowhere near that goal and here we are at Friday," she says.

Perhaps the hardest hit are small businesses, like the Pizza Stop.  The owner here says 95 percent of his business comes from the site, and that business has already dropped by half.

"It makes it almost impossible to operate," owner Harvey Tollison says.  "Utility costs haven't dropped 50 percent, labor costs haven't not dropped 50 percent, it's real tight now."

He understands why the customers have stopped coming.

"They're passing out letters at MOX as we speak," he says.  "People are getting dates of September, so they're saving every dime and they're not going out to eat."

People who live here say they love it - but that doesn't leave a lot of hope in this water-tower town.

"I hate to say this, but we'll end up folding up I'm afraid," Goff says if the layoffs continue.

"There's not much left, a couple of gas stations, just sucking the life out of it," Tollison adds.  "It's looking very grim for us, we're struggling to stay afloat."

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