Businesses Hurt By Nuclear Construction Shutdown Are Bouncing Back

Small business owners were rattled when they learned that construction of 2 reactors at V.C. Summer had stopped. It's been almost 2 months since the news broke, so we sent our Chuck Ringwalt to check back in and see how some of them are doing.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The heavy traffic that once lined Monticello Road in Jenkinsville has nearly disappeared. and the Broad River Campground has been quiet since construction was halted on two nuclear units at V.C. Summer.

"We had approximately 130 spots filled up at that time,” D. Melton said.

Melton co-owns the campground.

"Right now you're going to see 20-25 campers, but we're in the process of restructuring our business model," he said.

Recreational RV parking is now their primary focus.

"We're right next to Lake Monticello; a great fishing and recreational area. Also Lake Murray is only 20 minutes away, so our location puts us right in the sweet spot of the two great lakes here in Columbia," he said.

Take a short drive into Chapin and you'll find Doza Rizen. The small cafe bet big on the project, spending thousands on a food truck that would serve site workers.

"It shut half our business down with our food truck and everything and we lost a lot of customers and our friends in the restaurant and it just really hurt the community overall," Brianna Willette said.

But they're bouncing back. Willette is the general manager.

"We've had to jump through a couple of hoops and obstacles to get where we are, but our business has picked up a lot. Our food truck is doing really well and now we travel to a couple different places during the week and people are really happy to have us. They look forward to us coming,” she said.

On Mondays the truck sits outside General Information Services along Chapin Road. They also park near Pelican Snowballs and Dutch Fork Insurance in Ballentine on Tuesdays.

Just like Willette, Melton agreed. It's been tough, but he enjoys the challenge.

"Change is a guarantee. Things are going to happen in life. We're ready to change our business model. Our campground was set up to change at some point in time. It's happening a little sooner than we thought, but we're excited for the opportunity to that and excited for a location where we are and what we have right next door to us," he said.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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