Whenever there’s a new business opening in the Valley, odds are we’ll be asked by someone involved to do a story.
New business owners are usually delighted to talk about their endeavors. They happily share their email addresses and cell and work phone numbers with us.
Want to do an interview? Great, they say. Just tell us when and where and we’ll show up.
Sometimes the Chamber of Commerce even stages a ribbon cutting.
We like doing stories about new or expanding local businesses. New businesses and the new jobs they bring are good news for the communities we cover.
Just last Wednesday we did a piece about Jordanna Adams, a family-owned woman’s boutique, planning to expand to a larger commercial space on Market Street in Lewisburg from their current location in Montandon.
Our readers tend to like these stories. A recent piece we did on the opening of the Old Navy store at the Monroe Marketplace in Hummels Wharf was the most-read story of the day on our website.
Our readers are also very interested in stories about businesses closing down.
The story we posted online on Tuesday (and published in print on Wednesday) about the apparent shutdown of Good Wil’s restaurant at the Susquehanna Valley Mall was the third-most read story on our website and app. Had there not been coverage of a fatal accident that shut down I-80, I suspect it would have been No. 1.
Business owners, however, are nowhere near as available to speak with us when they close up shop. We’re still waiting to hear from Good Wil’s owner.
The most significant example of business ownership saying nothing after a closure continues to be the stone cold silence that has emanated from Wood-Mode Custom Cabinetry Chairman Robert Gronlund and his son Brooks Gronlund, the now-dormant company’s President and Chief Operating Officer.
Neither has said a word — or done anything to help their 938 former employees, since the Monday, May 13 sudden shutdown.
Earlier this month, Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey sent a letter to Robert Gronlund, asking him:
1. To explain why the Kreamer company abruptly closed.
2. To help the 938 former workers and their families.
We checked with Casey’s office this week. On Wednesday, his staff confirmed to reporter Rick Dandes that Casey has not yet gotten a response either.
Of course, the fact that the Gronlunds have refused to respond to Casey, town officials or us is nowhere near as egregious as the fact that they have never communicated with their many loyal employees or done anything to help them with the transition.
Small-businesses tend to have somewhat of a family atmosphere. At least the good ones do.
When such a company closes, one might think the owners would understand the implications beyond their own pocketbooks and be sensitive to the issues facing their now-former workers.
One might think. But in this case, one would be wrong.
More than six weeks after the closure, how the Gronlunds have handled this mess remains shameful and should not be forgotten.
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