WINNSBORO — Residents gathered last Saturday in the Walmart parking lot to rally behind keeping the local store open.
The rally, sponsored by Fairfield United, had speakers from the local chapter of the NAACP, Tangee Jacobs and Senate District 17 candidate Dr. Mike Fanning.
Dozens of Fairfield County residents braved the cold conditions to contribute their time and voices for the rally. Volunteers were able to generate more than 100 additional signatures for a petition to Walmart to keep the store open.
The petition, which has been sent to the corporate offices for Walmart, had acquired over 1,000 signatures since the announcement of the closing on Jan. 15. The store is scheduled to close today.
Fanning gave a moving speech regarding the progress of the county in recent years.
“Just take a look at Hwy 321. On one side, a symbol of our hopeful future — a brand new career center. Across the street? From hope to despair — Walmart abandons us,” he said.
“Walmart came in, shut down our existing small businesses, and became our ‘General Store,’” Fanning said. “Corporate Walmart took our money and then pulled out, leaving us with only one chain grocery store in the entire county.”
Despite the perception that Walmart does not care about the community, executives have agreed to respond to every comment received over the past several weeks.
While there seem to be a few rays of hope peeking through the clouds for Winnsboro, there are further rumors in the community about several other businesses considering closing their doors.