Seaford Clothing Co. To Re-Open - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Seaford Clothing Co. To Re-Open

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Back in 2009, the Seaford Clothing Company in Rock Island closed its doors, sending 300 people to the unemployment line. Now the facility plans to re-open and bring many of those old employees back.  

City leaders in Rock Island say it's all thanks to a $3.4 million state grant. The grant will be used to renovate the old building and bring 300 or more jobs to the city.  

Employees tell KWQC they walked out of the old Seaford building with their final paychecks and never saw a dime in severance since. When the plant was still open employees made suits here, now they're getting a second chance and so are the few businesses around here who used to benefit from having this facility open. 

With more than 300 people coming back here to work, nearby businesses are excited for that extra boost in customers.  

Dolores Myers has been in business just down the street from Seaford for over 40 years. She says a lot has changed since then. 

"We had the lumber company here at one time and another business over here at one time, and there were people around all the time. Now there's nothing," she says. 

Myers and other businesses like nearby Murphy's took a hit in customer base when Seaford employees left. Murphy's bar owners tell us they had to cut down employees' hours to stay in business, and others didn't make it. 

"Everybody around here is glad about it," Bar Owner Jackie Murphy says of the re-opening, "That's why the little restaurant nearby has been closed three times, probably because Seaford." 

Now those employees are coming back, and then some.  

"We're anticipating a minimum 300 jobs being created," Rock Island City Manager Thomas Thomas says, "We're hoping once it's completely finished, up to 350 or more jobs." 

With a $3.4 million state grant, bringing back Seaford isn't costing the city a thing. 

"We had to agree to be the sponsor for the grant, we had to agree to work with the company in regard to the renovations," Thomas says. 

Meanwhile local businesses are anxiously waiting for that business to come back.  

"Anything can help," Myers says, "Even if you're only drawing 10, 15, 20 people, a place this small it's pretty good." 

"The employees used to come in on Friday nights and they liked it here," Murphy says, "That'd be really good though, sooner the better." 

The city says re-modeling will start in a couple weeks, but no date has been set as to when the facility will officially re-open.  

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