Caldwell businesses expect fewer customers after Simplot layoffs

Caldwell businesses expect fewer customers after Simplot layoffs »Play Video

CALDWELL, Idaho (KBOI) - Downtown businesses are preparing for fewer customers when Simplot lays off hundreds of workers at the end of the year.

Cindy Heinze, owner of Caldwell Floral, said laid-off workers won't have money to buy the Christmas centerpieces and knick-knacks she sells.

"If they don't have a job, they're not going to be able to buy that," she said. "They're just going to say, That's a luxury we can't afford.'"
Heinze said she's dealt with hard times before by eliminating an employee and cutting back hours for others.
The layoffs at the potato processing plant amount to 262 Caldwell workers, according to the Idaho Department of Labor.
"Whenever that happens, you're going to affect the community around you," said Matt Kelly, who owns a coffee house in Caldwell. "We're all dependent upon others spending their money, and when they don't have money to spend, we're going to notice it."
Kelly said it's hard to tell how much the layoffs will hurt business.
"People won't go out to dinner as much or they won't spend as much money on clothes," Heinze said. "They're just going to do with what they have. You just cut back where you have to, just to survive."
Simplot says a new plant will open next year with fewer employees.