South Boston Dealership Closes After 74 Years
South Boston, VA - A South Boston car dealership is closing its doors after more than 70 years in business.
The last day for Wyatt Chevrolet on Wilbourn Avenue is May 1.
For long-term employees, that will be a sad day.
"I never had a day that I hate to come to work, " said Clyde Holt, who has been working at Wyatt Chevrolet for more than 40 years.
Like many in the community, he is sad to see the family-owned business close its doors.
"We work as a family. People don't work for me, we work together, " said owner Jack Caldwell.
Caldwell took over the business that his grandfather started back in 1939, when Chevys were sold for about $800.
Since then, folks in the community have come to trust him for car purchases and service, but Caldwell says business has slowed over the years.
"Business has tapered off, and of course the advent of computer has taken people away...taken the younger people away, " he said.
GM is requiring all dealers to upgrade their facilities to a more modern look, and when faced with the cost of the upgrade, Caldwell felt it was best to move on.
But he says his grandfather would be pleased with just how far the business has come.
"I don't even know if he realized it would stay this long, but I think he would be proud, " Caldwell said.
And Holt has a message for residents in small towns that miss the old businesses they're used to:
"Support your local business in the town. That's the main thing. To keep them going, that's what it's going to take, " said Holt.
Holt says he was planning to retire anyway after his 40 years of service. The other employees say they are hopeful they'll find work elsewhere. Caldwell has been helping them in their search for jobs.