How will General Motors’ layoffs affect Lordstown businesses?

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LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Businesses in the heart of Lordstown benefit greatly from being near the General Motors plant. With the plant’s third shift being suspended indefinitely, some of those businesses will feel the impact.

Cutting the third shift will result in over 1,200 employees being laid off.

Inside Nese’s Country Café, just two miles from the assembly plant, it’s a major topic of conversation.

“We do know a lot of people that work there, that come in here and talk about it, and yes, we’ve heard some very upset people,” said Lisa Grammatas, head waitress.

Nese’s opened two years ago and quickly realized how important carryout sales were, since the workers only get 20 minute lunch breaks. The eatery did $68,000 in those sales last year.

Eliminating the third shift will have minimal impact because the café is only open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The third shift starts after it closes following lunch, and ends before it opens for breakfast.

“It doesn’t really affect our business much. Our hours aren’t really conducive to the midnight shift. We do cater more to the day shift and afternoon shift here,” Grammatas said.

Down the street at Ross’ Eatery and Pub, the story is different.

Earl Ross says he remembers cutting his staff when GM cut production to just one shift in the early 2000s. He’s enjoyed the boost of three full-production shifts and expanding his payroll to 25 employees.

He says it’s too early to know exactly what impact the change will have.

Nese’s is concerned that the story may get bigger if Cruze sales don’t improve soon.

“Oh yeah, if they’ll take it this far, who knows how far they’ll take it,” Grammatas said.

The layoffs could also affect suppliers along the strip in Lordstown.

Magna, which oversees Lordstown Seating Systems, gave the following response:

We are assessing potential impact at Lordstown Seating Systems based on the recent announcement from GM. Any decisions regarding our workforce will be first communicated to our employees.

WKBN 27 First News also contacted Comprehensive Logistics and Falcon Transport on Thursday, and is waiting to hear if they have a plan in place.

The production change at Lordstown starts January 24, 2017.

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