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Loss of distribution center jobs will impact area businesses

By JOLEEN FERRIS

ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - It will take six months for a major employer that's been part of Rome's landscape for nearly 40 years, to become a memory.

Officials with the Rite Aid Distribution Center in Rome announced on Tuesday that they are consolidating operations with their warehouse in Liverpool. Layoffs at the Rome facility will begin in January and end in July, when the center is expected to close.

"How are they going to cover their mortgage payments, car payments, college education?" asked John Zourdos, owner of Dippin' Donuts in Rome.

Zourdos sees distribution center employees in through his doors on a daily basis. He says the exodus of 400 jobs from about a mile up the road will impact his business, as well.

"A lot of their employees stop get coffee and donuts, sandwiches....just about everyday...you know the truck drivers stop in so it's going to...it's going to have an impact, absolutely"

Rite Aid workers are frequent visitors at Nicky Doodles, a popular Rome eatery, as well. The owner doesn't expect the Rite Aid Distribution Center's exit to put him under, but he does expect to feel it.

"A lot of the people that work at Rite Aid come here to eat and have ice cream, we notice they have their name tags on so we know they're from Rite Aid. Plus, they come get food to go, they take it back to the warehouse, and truck drivers come here, so we'll see some of it; it's not going to devastate us but it's bad to lose it," says owner Tim Twomey.

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