Two-thousand plus workers are back on the line at a revamped Daimler Chrysler, and with hundreds of new workers on the way, nearby small businesses are expecting big surges in future months.
Daimler Chrysler assembly workers began producing the dodge caliber earlier this month, and in March, will begin work on the Jeep Compass. The new cars mean new customers at Cuppa Joe Bakery and Cafe. This week, they've seen at least 50 workers come in for a late lunch after their shift is done.
Across town, the owner of Susie Q's Sandwich Shoppe says her store's future is also bright. She says fresh business is coming from not only Chrysler, but employees at surrounding auto parts manufacturers.
"Our delivery has increased 10-fold with the carpenters and the general contractors and everyone that's working out in the area, so it's definitely a plus for my business," Susie Temple said.
"Just to get Belvidere the name itself out there and also to accommodate them for the small businesses to help to improve our business so far it has," Kay Boudreau said.
If, Belvidere's Daimler Chrysler plant adds a third shift later this year, business owners say they'll likely hire some additional help to handle the additional demand.