Freeport Hopes to Build Business

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Another blow to the city of Freeport, as Titan Tire just announced it's slashing dozens of jobs. This comes just weeks before the Sensata Plant and unemployment office close for good. Despite a tough business year, the Pretzel City plans to add more job opportunities in 2013.

After months of lay-offs and closures, the city of Freeport hopes to change its luck in the new year.

Titan Tires cut 60 workers this week, 100 workers lose their jobs within the next two weeks, when the Sensata Plant closes. By the end of January, the 45 people who work at Kmart, will be unemployed, due to the store's closure.

“Yea gloom and doom looks like it's coming all around us, but I think it’s just giving, it's a door shut and a window open."
Christy Hatlak runs Christine's bakery in downtown Freeport. She says the closure of larger companies sheds more light on local businesses.
"I understand that affects other people's jobs but I think there's so much more going on behind the scenes,” said Hatlak.

Despite the loss of hundred of jobs, Freeport Mayor George Gaulrapp says more of them could be on the way.

"As Kmart leaves our community, we have 3 other retailers, two that have signed letters of intent to come to Freeport,” said Gaulrapp.

Mayor Gaulrapp says 5 companies are looking to go to Freeport. Although he couldn't give specific names, he says at least 200 jobs could be added next year.

California based company Turbo Coil was also looking to expand in Freeport. You may recall they heard about Freeport when Sensata made national news. No final decisions have been yet.

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