Anyone who has taken a stroll down Main Street in Keene this semester has noticed an empty storefront where the popular restaurant Armadillo’s used to be located. While many students are lamenting the loss of Armadillo’s, they are neglecting to mention the plethora of other businesses around Keene that have disappeared in recent months.
The list of places that have gone out of business or chose to close their doors in Keene continues to grow, with The 99, Pizzeria Uno’s Chicago Grill, Fashion Bug, Circuit City, Blockbuster and Borders already closed, and Sear’s, among a few others, slated to close in the next few months.
What’s surprising about these smattering of business closings is that they are not local, small businesses closing because of a rough economy; the stores that are closing are all a part of national chains, or are a national franchise.
The notion that many popular national brands are under economic siege is nothing new; since 2008 the economy has been in shambles. But the closing of such a wide array of stores and restaurants in the Keene area brings to light two problems.
The Keene population may be suffering economically if national chains aren’t finding Keene profitable anymore. But it also poses a new problem for area residents who are possibly under economic duress; it puts people out of work.
This isn’t only problematic for Keene residents who depend on these jobs to pay their bills but it also affects Keene State College students who might depend on these jobs to pay for their education and their time here at KSC. When a store or restaurant closes in the area, everyone suffers.