Expansion plans for businesses postponed after attacks

Local businesses are feeling the effects of the current war on terrorism and as a result have begun to campaign, advertise and operate on different levels.

Brooke Vanderline, a marketing manager at Governor’s Square Mall explains the efforts of local retailers to maintain normal shopping levels.

“We believe a lot of our retailers will do some sort of clearance. Some may keep things on sale for the remainder of the year,” Vanderline told the Tallahassee Democrat.

David Renninger, general manager at Tallahassee Mall reported that tenants that had initial plans of opening up shop or expanding their stores have ceased or postponed their plans.

These changes in Tallahassee businesses can also be attributed to state budget cuts that may amount to $1.5 billion. These budget cuts could lead to a large number of layoffs in the state.

Although businesses seem to be targeting a skeptical consumer group, many students feel that everything is business as usual.

Kim Reese, 17, a business administration student from New Orleans said, “I just haven’t seen any immediate effects. The stores are still open, so I still go. The only personal experience I had was when I went to a Barnes and Noble book store and they couldn’t get the books I needed for two weeks.”

Farida Culbreath, 18, a freshman computer information systems student from Ocala agreed.

“The war on terrorism has not affected my shopping habits.”

In light of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, unemployment in Florida has reached its highest rate in 10 years. In a report released Sept. 28, the actual number of claims of unemployment was recorded at 19,534.

With this fact in mind, Catherine Urso, assistant manager at the Target store located on Apalachee Parkway is gearing up for an increase of applicants at her store.

Employees at Publix supermarkets, Best Buy, and other local businesses have found that United Way campaigning has increased as proceeds are raised for the victims of the Sept. 11 events.

These businesses have contributed approximately five to 15 percent more money to the United Way than they did last year.