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Nauvoo looks to adjust after local business closures

The Nauvoo Mill and Bakery has been a staple of downtown Nauvoo for almost four decades.

Carol Brown said started the Nauvoo Mill and Bakery in 1984.

“We just felt the town should have a bakery and keep the business going,” she said.

But she said their long run is coming to an end this month.

“You know we’d like to have life to do a little more traveling,” Brown said. “I’m tied down pretty much six days a week.”

But like a number of other local businesses, it’s closing its doors.

For sale signs aren’t an uncommon sight up and down Nauvoo’s main business district.

“We’re looking at about 6 or 7 that are actually either retiring or selling the business for a variety of reasons,” Chamber of Commerce president Sharon Nicholl said.

But Nicholl said she’s not worried.

“You’re going to have continuous change in population or aging and so in my mind I see these businesses as an opportunity for new and younger growth,” she said.

Hancock County Economic Development Director Belynda Allen said she’s hoping for a quick transition between local merchants leaving and new ones coming in.

“My ideal is that we can figure out something else that we can work with that business owner on and potential business owners coming in that can just take that over immediately,” she said.

Leaving those like Brown to slow down, relax and shift their focus.

“We’ve got kids and grandkids we’re wanting to have more time with and it’s time,” she said.

Allen said she’s started working on a tourism and economic development plan for a number of different Hancock County communities since she took over back in June.

She said she’s still figuring out the needs of different communities.

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Don Dwyer

Don Dwyer is a Morning Anchor/Reporter at WGEM.

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