11/20/2012 6:11 PM
by Heidi Moore
After 25 years, one local grocery store is closing up shop.
It was with a heavy heart that Value Plus owner David Stephens informed his employees of a decision that was not easy to make.
"We decided not to renew the lease so we are now in the process of liquidating the inventory." Stephens announced.
His decision was based on the economy and decline in business the store has seen over the last year.
"I think last night was really tough. I had a meeting with the employees and told them my decision and everybody broke down in tears because we had been here for 25 years." he said.
Value Plus is not the only business in Fayette County closing its doors. Recently K-Mart announced it will be closing its Oak Hill location and city manager Bill Hannabass never enjoys seeing a business leave.
"We hate every time we lose a business. K-Mart employed 59 people I understand, and I regret that." Hannabass told NewsWatch.
Value Plus employs close to 30 people who have remained loyal to the store.
"All of them have been with me for a period of time. We had very little turnover." Stephens said.
With these businesses closing many people will be without a job and also wondering what they can do next.
Lisa Lilly of the Beckley WorkForce West Virginia had a few answers.
"They can come into our office or Summersville office. If they live in Fayette county they can go to either location and they can file their unemployment claims." Lilly said.
With the news of this latest business closing, residents are wondering if their job is the next to go.
"I don't see this as a trend okay? This is not a trend. Two different, totally different situations that forced these closings." Hannabass said.
However WorkForce West Virginia has recently had their hands full.
"Our case load has increased dramatically over the last month." Lilly said.
The future of the job market is still uncertain, but Stephens is still optimistic.
"I'm going to end this chapter and start a new chapter, but I'm not sure what that chapter is going to be." he said.
Value plus will remain open until the last item is sold.