Soldiers' Departure to Affect Local Business - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/04/05

Soldiers' Departure to Affect Local Business

Hinesville's Third Infantry Division going back to Iraq in the next few weeks. Thousands of soldiers are leaving, and some of their families packing up as well.

So what happens on the home front? In Hinesville, some businesses like the Sew Shop are swamped, helping soldiers get their uniforms and gear cleaned up and in shape. But once they're gone, the businesses will take a big hit.

Off Post barbershop expects to lose half its customers and profit. "I've been through it twice now, in '90 for Desert Storm it dropped off to nothing, then a year or so ago when they left, it dropped about half our business at least," said barber Jay Blocker.

One kind business is keeping customers, the self-storage places. They started filling up in November and now they're turning away dozens of soldiers looking for places to leave their civilian gear the year or so they're in Iraq.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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