Wall Street problems hit Gloster

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 8, 2008

When national economic woes hit, it is easy for small-town America to mentally keep them an arms length away.

Until that arm is handed a pink slip.

The news in Gloster was like a nightmarish flashback Friday.

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The Georgia-Pacific paper mill would, once again, be closing its doors, laying off 280 people.

The reason? The economy, in short.

The demand for the G-P product has decreased in recent years, and Gloster will suffer because of it.

The plant closed its doors in 2002 and didn’t reopen until 2005.

Officials aren’t saying this closure is permanent, but they aren’t setting a date to reopen either.

Families throughout Gloster and undoubtedly in other local towns are making tough decisions now. Some will move. Others will stay and tough it out.

And still others, like those who work at restaurants and shops in the area, will be affected one way or the other.

The economic crisis isn’t on Wall Street or in Washington anymore. It isn’t a big city problem.

It’s a Gloster problem, a Southwest Mississippi problem.

Fortunately, we’ve been down this road before. When International Paper left Natchez the world kept spinning.

If anyone is tough enough to survive crisis, it’s Southwest Mississippi.

Our outstretched hands won’t be used for blocking out the economic crisis anymore. We’ll use our hands to help each other.