Local businesses bracing for impact from layoffs

WICHITA, Kan. — For each of the 575 workers that were laid off by Textron Aviation Wednesday, another three are affected at nearby businesses like restaurants, bars and stores.

The fall-out from those layoffs will be felt by the businesses that the now unemployed used to frequent. So now, those businesses are preparing for the changes.

Melody Reid worked at Beechcraft for a year and a half before she was laid off, along with 350 other workers in 2010. Luckily for her, she had a job to fall back on as a server at Angela’s Cafe and Cantina.

Normally the cafe is filled with upwards of 100 people around lunch time, mostly Beechcraft employees on their lunch break, but even with another round of layoffs Reid says she doesn’t feel they will see a dip in business.

“People come in at a 11:30 for to-go orders, dine-ins but that’s not going to have an effect because our regular customers are going to be coming back regardless if the layoffs are there or not,” said Reid.

But for other business, the loss of nearby business could hit hard.

Paula Navarre is the manager of Paula’s Bar and Grill, just five miles from Cessna. She says she felt the pinch the first time there were major layoffs.

“They had the big layoff about five years ago and they laid off half the workforce and it affected us a lot,” said Navarre.

Since then, Navarre says her business has been able to rebound but she says she is nervous of what’s next.

“You lose even one of two customers, it’s tough and it’s tough on them,” said Navarre.

Now other businesses said they are now in a wait and see mode, unsure if this batch of layoffs will ultimately have a negative impact or not on their businesses going forward.

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