Hancock Co. industries bracing for worst from Century/Big Rivers - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Hancock Co. industries bracing for worst from Century/Big Rivers situation

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HANCOCK CO., KY (WFIE) -

As the power play continues between Century Aluminum and Big Rivers Electric, other Hancock County industries are concerned about their future if a deal can't be reached. 

Even though Century's fate's still in limbo, businesses in Hancock County are already bracing for the worst.  

"We can already see what's occurred just by the announcement taking place," Tim Gooch said. 

Even businesses you might not think would feel a direct impact.  

Gooch and his wife have owned Hancock Real Estate and Auction for nearly 10 years. Since Century issued its termination notice to Big Rivers back in August, some things have changed.  

"We've got a stack of envelopes of people who have asked for donations, charitable contributions, those type of things. You just have to put those things on hold," Gooch said.  

It's not just in real estate.  

"I think everybody kind of goes into a survival mode at that point, begin to reduce any expense that's not necessary, not essential," Gooch said.  

If Century does close later this year, economic leaders say that the loss will be felt outside of the smelter's walls.  

"When one of these heavy industries closes, that can have a huge impact and a ripple effect throughout other parts of the economy," said Mike Baker with Hancock County Industrial Foundation. 

That includes the smallest Hancock County businesses.  

"We have small businesses, family-owned businesses here in the county that service our local industries," Baker said.  

"I think that's what we have to base our hope and faith in is that there will be a compromise," Gooch said.  

Officials say tax revenue from heavy industry in Hancock County bring in over $3 million a year.

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