Milliken plant in Barnwell closing its doors

By: Ashley Jeffery Email
By: Ashley Jeffery Email

News 12 @ 6 o'clock -- December 30, 2008

Barnwell County, SC -- Anthony's Restaurant in Barnwell is a town landmark that's been here for more than 40 years. During that time they've seen a lot of businesses come and go. But they say the Milliken plant is different... This closing strikes close to home.

"I know several people who work in the kitchen that are related to some of the people who will be laid off so it's going to affect a lot of families around here," said Sonya Fridley.

Anthony's Restaurant is a hot spot for those who worked for the Milliken.
They say around 20 percent of their business comes from the company.

"For the owners, it keeps the business established, pays the bills. It'll be a loss to see them go," said Sonya.

"And Anthony's isn't the only place sad to see Milliken closing. Other businesses in the area say once the plant closes for good, they may suffer too."

Harry Williams works at the local convenience store Jim Bo's and says he knows mostly every customer from the plant by name.

"Milliken customers come to my store every morning around 5 and 5:30. Then a lot of times they come back at about 3 or 3:30 on shift work," said Harry.

The plant closing it's doors could mean bad business for Harry. He says about 75 percent of his business comes from Milliken and that the drop in sales is going to be real bad for him.

And Anthony's Restaurant can agree. They say when they're serving Milliken, they make about ten times more food. But come January, that may change.

"I think it's going to slow us down and it's going to be a sad situation. It's not going to be good. We're going to miss them for sure," said Sonya.

The company will start phasing employees out in mid-January. They plan to be closed completely by the middle of 2009.


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