Walmart brings concerns for small business owners - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Walmart brings concerns for small business owners

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Jennifer Calhoun, Walmart Store Manager Jennifer Calhoun, Walmart Store Manager
Debbie Bridges, Sylvester City Manager Debbie Bridges, Sylvester City Manager
Donald Rushing, Simple Wireless Solutions Owner Donald Rushing, Simple Wireless Solutions Owner
Mayor Bill Yearta Mayor Bill Yearta
SYLVESTER, GA (WALB) -

A lot of people are waiting to apply for jobs at the Walmart being built in Sylvester.  They start accepting applications Monday.  But not everyone is excited.   

Construction continues on a Walmart in Sylvester. Company officials say they are happy to be a part of Sylvester's economy by creating 100 jobs.  

"You know currently the citizens of Sylvester do not have a Walmart to shop in and they have to go out of town. So now we're going to bring that sales revenue back to Sylvester which will do nothing but positively impact the area," said Jennifer Calhoun.    

The City Manager says the hiring announcement is bringing people to City Hall asking how they can apply.  

"It's great to have that opportunity for our citizens to be able to have jobs. So we are excited about the economic development side," said Debbie Bridges.    

Donald Rushing recently opened a cell phone and computer store and he has concerns.  

"It's hard to compete with a major corporation because they can make their products priced at anything because they buy in volume when we don't have that liberty to buy in volume," said Donald Rushing.    

Mayor Bill Yearta has owned his jewelry store for 30 years and even he is worried.  

"I do have concerns about our local businesses being a local business owner. I certainly have friends who are local business owners and I certainly hope the community will continue to support them," said Mayor Bill Yearta.    

Walmart officials say the new store isn't there to hurt small businesses.

"I think we can coexist and both thrive in this area with the clientele and customers that we'll bring in here that are currently going out of town it's going to keep those customers in town, so I think it's going to help everybody all around," said Calhoun.  

Yearta and Rushing hope that people will continue to shop locally when the large retailer opens in June. The Walmart Hiring Center in Sylvester will begin accepting applications at 8:00 a.m. on Monday at 114 Main Street.

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