Fewer Coal Miners Means Less Business For Local Store Owners - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Fewer Coal Miners Means Less Business For Local Store Owners

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Raven, VA (WVVA) - Although many in small towns across coal country do not work in the mines, their lives will be affected directly by the latest wave of mine closures. Little "mom-and-pop" shops in coal towns depend on miners for business. Whether it's a sandwich during a lunch break, or buying meat and vegetables for the dinner table, these shops depend on money from miners to keep their businesses alive. Without jobs, miners have no income, and with no income, people are not spending money.

"We can already tell a difference in our business. Business has already slacked, I guess because people are scared, scared to let go of what little money they've got."

The decline in business has owners like monk worried for the future of their business.

"We I don't know if we'll be able to hang on. We're a small business anyway, just hanging on by a thread anyhow."

Just a few hundred yards down the road, another business is struggling to make it by.

The owner of Nikki's Grooming says people with little money need to take care of basic necessities first, and the lack of spare money is hurting her business.

"I would say usually, I probably would do anywhere from 15 dogs a day, 12 to 15 dogs a day. I'm probably doing 5 a day if I'm lucky."

In small towns like this, businesses depend on the mines for more than just energy.

"We depend on the mines. This is mining country. We just depend on the mines. The country depends on the mines."

Monk and White echo the concerns of small business owners across the area. They hope and pray that more layoffs does not mean more signs like this on shop doors.

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