A “For Rent” signs hangs in the window of attorney Bob Boswell’s office on Main Street in Floyd. Boswell is retiring. Another hangs in the space once occupied by Rick Parrish’s real estate business at The Village Green. Parrish and his wife have opened a consignment shop at the rear of the complex in space once occupied by a clothing store and he runs his real estate operation there.
Two more spaces will be empty at the Village Green by the end of the month: I’m closing the Blue Ridge Muse studio and Jeri Rogers is closing her portrait studio.
Woody Crenshaw is still looking for someone to put a restaurant in one of the front locations at the new Station on South Locust across the street from the Floyd Country Store. Mike Mitchell is looking for a new partner in his proposed music store after one dropped out.
At the other end of Locust Street, the antique store in the space once occupied by Lemon’s Jewelry is closing. The owners plan to leave the area.
A fire closed DJ’s Drive-In recently. The owners hope to be open again in about 10 days.
Downtown Floyd has changed more in the past four years than it had in the 40 years before 2005. Listen to discussions over breakfast at the Blue Ridge Restaurant and you hear varying opinions on whether or not the changes are good or bad.
While we don’t have consensus on whether or not the change is good, we do have a universal realization that the economic hard times that has affected the rest of the nation is coming home to Floyd County. Applications for assistance from the office of Social Services is at an all-time high and the county struggles to meet its financial obligations with a budget with no room for error or emergencies.
The classified section of The Floyd Press feature more and more “trustee sales” of foreclosed homes and land auctions outnumber the “homes for sale” listings.
Yet bulldozers carve new roads in former farmland along Sandy Flats Road not far from our house for a new development of vacation cabins and homes. Survey stakes appear on Poor Farm Road and other areas of the county. Some, apparently, have money to spend.
Some small business owners in Floyd tell me they are hanging on by a thread, praying for a sign that things will get better. Some had spillover business from last weekend’s arts and crafts fair at the high school but say that spike won’t be enough to offset a bad year.
The shillmasters in Washington say the recession is over and a recovery is beginning but those claims ring hollow to Floyd Countians who lost their jobs at Volvo or Corning or the Radford Arsenal and whose unemployment benefits ran out.
Where are we headed?
Beats the hell out of me.
What does the future hold for Floyd County?
I doubt anyone knows.