Alcoa Layoffs Worry Local Businesses

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

Has its economy been mortally wounded or can Rockdale recover?

We told you Tuesday night, 660 Alcoa employees are on the chopping block at the plant's production facility. Wednesday, many are wondering if the massive job losses will be the death knell for Rockdale businesses.

"Yesterday that's what everyone talked about and it kind of made everyone nervous," Sonia Mendez at the Rancho Grande Mexican Restaurant.

Inside the Rancho Grande Mexican Restaurant the conversation continues, people are still a buzz wondering how the layoffs will affect the local economy.

"If people stay in Rockdale it'll ease it," Rockdale Resident Patricia Watson said. "But some people aren't going to have a job so they're going to have to move."

"Rockdale has been here a long time, and it'll continue to be here," Rockdale Resident Bill Hall said. "It'll be a slight blow to some of our businesses."

Sonia Mendez feels her place of employment could be one of them.

"Most of our customers that come here are usually from Alcoa but I think it'll affect our business, and I think everyone else's business," Mendez said.

Just down the street one local business owner has double the worries.

"I think we will probably lose 30 to 40 percent of our business," Sham Sher Gill said.

Gill owns not only Gill Stop and Go convenience store, but also the Budget Inn Hotel. Both which rely on business generated by Alcoa.

They'll stay three weeks or four weeks, and we stay 100 percent," Gill said. "Alcoa works they come over here."

And without those workers stopping by Gill's worried the layoffs could spell disaster for his businesses.

"I'm talking to myself thinking we have to sell it, somehow maybe find somewhere--some other opportunities," Gill said.

Brazos Valley Businesses and Number of Employees

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