Local shops braving storm of economy

“I am shocked . because it has been such a consistent hangout spot.” That statement by Kourtney Sherman summed up the feelings and reactions by many students to the news that Tasty’s – a consistent fixture in Grambling for more than years – has closed. The “For Rent” sign on the door is all that is left of the place that one student referred to as, “part of the Grambling legacy.”

While The Gramblinite was unable to speak to the owner of Tasty’s to confirm the reasons for its closure, many are wondering if this was just an isolated incident or a growing effect of the current economic climate.

With the nation facing a major economic crisis, large corporations needing bailouts from the government just to stay afloat and the unemployment rate at an astounding 7.6%, it is questionable whether or not local businesses in the area can whether the storm.

Marvin Davis, owner of the local establishment “Realities,” a fixture of Grambling since 1993, confirms that business has been slow the past year and admits that it is hard to say whether or not Tasty’s closing will be the first of many more businesses to close in the community.

He stressed the fact that because Grambling is such a small town it is always a little difficult for businesses to be really successful. He also added that while the alumni’s are usually great for business, they really only come once a year – for Homecoming – so local businesses cannot really focus much of their success on them.

Leon Smith, co-owner of local business “Collegiate Shop” – a fixture of Grambling for 53 years – admitted that business had gotten slow in the past year but was more hopeful about the future.

He stated that most of their business came from out of town and for that reason believed that they would be able to survive the current economic situation.

Alicia Wilson, owner of “Balloons Galore,” a newcomer to the Grambling business scene, also has hopes for the future; stating that business has been okay for the past year and that she does believe things will continue to be okay.

Jeffrey Manfield – who is related to the original owners of “Jean’s” and continues to have a personal relationship with the current owners – admitted that business has indeed been slow this past year but added another factor besides the fledging economy.

He stated that much of “Jean’s” sales usually come from the students of GSU; meaning, that business is often slow in the months when school is out. He also added that while businesses could possibly survive the economic crisis, a bigger issue for the community stems from locals not taking pride in and supporting local businesses.