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Businesses hope to rebound after Lafarge layoffs

Apr, 18 2012


(Joppa, Illinois)  --  Two southern Illinois businesses hope to rebound after Lafarge laid off a third of its staff in March.

It isn't business as usual for Tina Anderson.

"It was a shock because we spent a lot of money in the past year to get the business up and going and promote jobs for this area because there is none," she said.

Her sign may say "JT's Burgers and More" but her business isn't seeing more. It's seeing less ever since Lafarge laid off a third of its staff last month.

"Spirits are down because of the job loss," she said.

She's had to make concessions, too. Anderson cut hours and seven employees to make up for the increase in empty tables.

"I see a lot of stress especially, you can see it on people's faces. A year ago, I wouldn't have said that," Anderson said.

"I think Joppa will always be here. We got some dedicated people that have been here all their lives," said David Godfrey.

He's trying to stay positive. He owns the Ranger One Stop General Store and is friends with many of the workers who were let go.

"They have the same attitude as I do. They're praying that something else comes along and they're going to be alright," said Godfrey.

Unlike Anderson, Godfrey said his store hasn't suffered financially and credits the price of gas for keeping people close to home.

"People aren't traveling as much as they used to. They are thinking twice before they go five, 10 miles for something else when they can get it locally," said Godfrey.

But those who are staying put aren't eating out because Anderson said they don't have any disposable income. It could force her to close her doors for good.

"With the layoffs there recently we talked about it but we're hoping it don't ever come to that," Anderson said.

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