Local Businesses of Orangeburg County, South Carolina, say that they don’t want South Carolina State University (SCSU) to close.
As of last week two subcommittees signed off on a plan that will close the university for two years in order for the institution to pull themselves out of their deficit. WLTX19 reports, the university currently owes $17 Million to vendors and $6 Million to the state for a loan they obtained last year. The plan is currently sitting with the S.C ways and means committee waiting to be decided upon.
Thetandd.com reports, the closing of the university would ultimately affect the community. Quintin Ryan, A dollar general manager in the area told thetandd the students make up about 85% of their store’s business. “Business increases exponentially when college is in session. The store basically dries up when students are away.” This is the general cry heard around the college town.
Linda Free a Fatz General Manager, told the news site that 20 of her 70 employees are from SCSU.
A study released in 2012 from university’s school of business stated that the school subsidizes over $180 million to state and local economy.
If the school closes down, the area will be significantly impacted.
The plan would lay off all positions at the university, including President Thomas Elzey. The school itself employs over 600 fulltime and part time employees
Elzey who gave a speech on February 10th to the student body, stated “It is unreasonable and unthinkable to fathom that the governor or any of our lawmakers would want to do away with 119 years of success.”
The ways and means committee met twice on Tuesday according to WTLX19, and did not discuss the plan. It is not generally expected for the plan to make it past senate.
“Stay calm because we’re not going to close” Elzey said.