The report was mostly well-done, but context and other notes are in order:
— KOB makes it sound as if the I-40 bypass is fairly new, when Santa Rosa was bypassed in 1972. If businesses are closing now because of the bypass, that’s a really delayed reaction. That does not mitigate the economic effect when the bypass did occur 40 years ago, however.
— The recent Great Recession has indeed been tough on Santa Rosa and everyone else. Various data show the downturn that started in 2008 was the worst since the Depression. (Having experienced the rough early 1980s, that’s saying something.) So it was inevitable the economic fallout would impact small towns on the route. The Guadalupe County Communicator in Santa Rosa reported the closing of at least four landmark businesses in recent years.
— The town is impacted by the ongoing emptying-out of the Great Plains. One may argue Santa Rosa lies outside of the Plains, but it’s close enough its effects are being felt. If children grow up in Santa Rosa, the vast majority move away. I’m not sure what anyone can do about that.
— Santa Rosa is beset by bad leadership in local government. Perhaps it’s a chronic problem in small towns magnified by the excellent reporting of the Guadalupe County Communicator. Regardless, Santa Rosa has dealt with silly and often-avoidable crises that would give little confidence to prospective outside employers.
— I wasn’t aware the Breezy Rain Cafe, formerly El Comedor de Anayas, had closed in recent weeks. Its Facebook page had seen activity as recently as Thanksgiving. Phone calls to the restaurant’s phone number at midday Saturday were not answered. The restaurant had changed hands less than a year ago; the new operators apparently couldn’t keep it going.
(Sign from the long-closed Club Cafe in Santa Rosa, N.M., by velo_city via Flickr)