The effect NVU has on White's Market

LYNDON- Local businesses spoke out during the scare around Northern Vermont Univeristy-Lyndon closure proposal. Former VSCS Chancellor Jeb Spaulding has since, withdrew the proposal.

White's Market, which has stores in Lyndonville and Saint Johnsbury is. a staple of everyday grocery needs for the college students at the nearby university. Not only do NVU students shop there, they also work there too.

"It's obvious we need more funding for NVU and it is also obvious that we need more tuition coming in for NVU. We definitely need to continue to advocate for both of those regardless of the proposal being pulled," said Sarah Lafferty, White's Market owner.

This business has had struggles with the coronavirus alone, add closing NVU-Lyndon into the mix and it can create fear of the future of local businesses. Lafferty has seen the loss of college student employees due to the coronavirus and she described it as a "wait and see" outcome with the expectation of possible impact the closure would have on the business.

"But then when you talk about the overall ripple effect of losing the 113 million dollars from our local economy and looking at other neighbors, potentially losing their jobs either because they work at the college or losing their jobs because they are directly effected by lack of income coming from the college."

Lafferty states that White's Market has not been open without Northern Vermont University-Lyndon and is unsure of what the closure would exactly mean for the business.

She supports the university through the Lyndon State College Foundation Scholarship, her grandparents were on the board when they owned White's Market and they helped to found it. "We continously support the Lyndon State College Foundation, they've done a lot of fundraisers. Our family has given out scholarships to local students."

"I just want people to know that in my role as a business owner as a community member as a Chamber of Commerce President, I will do anything and everything to support the school and make sure that campus stays open."