Alliance is moving forward after shock of Shopko closure

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ALLIANCE, Neb. - (KNEP) - The City of Alliance and Box Butte Development hope to bounce back after the recent shock of Shopko closure.

According to Executive Director Chelsie Herian, she received a letter from the Shopko Corporation the first of the year stating the store was fine. She also spoke with the general manager of the Alliance store who told her they were hiring.

The area also saw the announcement of the K-Mart store closing. The announcement came in December. Its the less than 20 employees received an opportunity to apply at the Shopko store in town.

With all that said, Herian admits she was caught off guard by the announcement the Shopko Alliance store was shuttering its doors in mid-May. But, she and her team are working hard to ensure the community can bounce back.

“The 2018 sales tax was the highest it has ever been,” exclaimed Herian.

The addition of other stores in the area is helping the community out. Her next plan is to work with their current businesses and local shops to ensure they are prospering. Herian anticipates a slight dip early on but by the end of the year they should rebound.

Herian mentioned they have a strong relationship with Western Nebraska Community College to give those affected by the closure a chance to take classes and receive higher education. They will also promote the upcoming job fair this month and encourage people to go there.

Getting a new business into the existing Shopko building will prove a challenge for Herian because she is not yet sure when the owner will release the property from its lease. But, she is not too worried because she knows the community is a healthy community and has a lot to offer for those looking to get the essentials they normal went to Shopko for.