Reality Check: Lincoln business district fading fast

A store in Lincoln with a closed banner. (WICS)

There's been a slide in business in the city of Lincoln with more than six businesses closing in the last few months.

"Businesses have come and go like they always have," said Julie Tarter, owner of Mary Todd's Hallmark store. "You have to keep changing."

The old Safe Haven hospice moved to Springfield and Stacy's Pharmacy and Kroger's recently shut down their stores. The news came as a shock for Eileen Mullins, who opened the Sir Renna Tea shop about two years ago.

"It's heartbreaking, but I'm still feeling optimistic," Mullins said.

"Sometimes it just feels like we're working by ourselves," Tarter said.

Lincoln City Treasurer Chuck Conzo said business closures, especially on the retail front, have been affecting small towns across the country.

"The concern is loss of revenue," Conzo said. "The hope is that a lot of retail sales stay in Lincoln."

Conzo says sales tax revenue has climbed in the last few years, up 1% in 2017.

"We're starting to reach out and get some more businesses here," Conzo said.

NewsChannel 20 reached out to a few aldermen in Lincoln who say ever since the Logan County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development group shutdown, it's been a downhill battle.

"It was a huge disaster that set us back," Conzo said. "There's no question about that."

The Mayor of Lincoln and the City Administrator did not return requests for comment.

Conzo says new development projects are being planned, with a new Gordman's store anticipated to open before year end.

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