38 Studios layoffs take toll on local businesses - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

38 Studios layoffs take toll on local businesses

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Four hundred people were laid off from Curt Schilling's business "38 Studios," and now other businesses across the street from One Empire Plaza are feeling the effects.

The hundreds of employees who worked at "38 Studios" put a lot of money into these businesses, going to them for lunch or to grab coffee throughout the day, so local businesses are already hurting just a couple days after the layoffs.

Cafe owner Robert Franco has been selling coffee and serving up sandwiches to the four hundred "38 Studios" workers for a couple years now, making his business across the street from One Empire Plaza very busy.

"Very, especially at lunchtime. Lunchtime, you can't even get inside the door, because most of them come over here," said Franco.

As you can imagine, Franco was shocked to hear hundreds of his patrons were laid off this week, no longer coming here to pick up their morning cup of joe.

"Oh we lose a good 30 to 35 percent. That's a lot," said Franco, "It's very scary. I have to lay off people too. I cannot keep them, and I'm sure all the businesses around have to cut down somehow."

The coffee shop owner hired three people when "38 Studios" moved in, now he's not sure he'll be able to keep them. He's already feeling the effects. There are usually over a hundred people in there on Saturdays, now it's dead.

"It's sad to see them go, just like that, overnight," said Franco, especially because businesses got to know the workers.

"Oh yeah, it's definitely going to be sad," said restaurant manager Mark DeGuilio, "We knew some of them personally. They're nice people. It's definitely sad to see them go for our sake and for the sake of the city and the state."

All DeGuilio can hope now is other businesses move in to take the place of "38 Studios". "We saw a lot of lunch business from them, so I have noticed over the past couple of days, since they got laid off, we lost a decent amount of lunch business."

Governor Chafee said the state will be getting an in-depth audit done on "38 Studios'" finances. Schilling's company borrowed 75-million dollars from the state two years ago.

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