Economy takes toll on Southeast Eugene residents

Problems arise from superfluous economy

By: Jaimie Goldstein

Residents and businesses in Southeast Eugene are less likely to spend money due to the state of the economy and its damaging effects.

With these hard economic times, people in Southeast Eugene appreciate jobs more and are frugal with their money.  As the bills pile up, so does the anxiety of how to make ends meet.  The economy “has increased my stress a lot,” said one resident.

Katherine Conway is a telephone advice nurse who feels the repercussions of the economy.  There’s “more competition” for shifts since hours are getting cut.  “More of us want those shifts,” she said.

Jiffy Market has increased its customer relationships by selling mostly to regulars.  Beer sales are constantly up and down, but high-priced wine sales have declined.

A well-established Italian restaurant in its fortieth year, Mazzi’s, hasn’t been affected by the turbulent times though.  General Manager, Mason Ambo, said employment is steady.  During the slow seasons in January, February and March, he may cut a server or hostess, otherwise it’s “fairly consistent.”

Glenn Wells, a cashier at Jiffy Market, was jobless for two to three months.  He is currently employed because a long-term employee quit and Wells replaced him.  Jiffy Market is more likely to “replace than expand,” said Wells.

The job at Jiffy Market “has made me happier to have a job,” said Wells, who thinks “people are less inclined to splurge” because of the state of the economy.

Ambo is now “more cautious” in how he spends money.

Conway was at JC’s Laundry because her washer broke.  She can’t afford to replace it since her husband, a middle school teacher, keeps getting his days cut.  Using the laundromat every two weeks cost Conway sixty to eighty dollars for a family of five.

With an increase in stress and an inability to pay the bills, Conway and her family have had to visit the food bank a couple of times.  She said it was an emotional experience.

As a nurse, Conway said she receives more calls about depression and anxiety.  Her callers’ stress relates to money and insurance companies.  She also receives more calls because families cannot afford to pay to see a doctor in person.

When big companies lay off five hundred people, the effects trickle down to everyone.  “In our town, that’s a lot of people,” said Conway.

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