First Merit Bank to layoff 135 employees - WNEM TV 5

First Merit Bank to layoff 135 employees

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

Bad news for Flint as the city's workforce is expected to shrink. First Merit Bank, the former Citizens Bank on South Saginaw Street, says it's laying off 135 workers from it's downtown headquarters.

City leaders say the layoffs are not unexpected because of the takeover, and say the city will make up for the lost jobs.

The bank has around 600 workers at the location. Employees were alerted to the possibility of losing their jobs when the transition was made from Citizens Bank to First Merit back in April.

A number of surrounding businesses in the area say they expect to lose revenue as a result of the layoffs.

Nadine Cook has owned Churchill's Food and Spirits restaurant for 17 years. The restaurant in the heart of downtown flint and many of her customers have been around just as long.

"We know them by name, we know what they eat, we know what they drink. First Merit is the only bank left downtown in Flint and there used to be three, for us its a huge impact. There is a lot of people who have lot their jobs, a lot of people who have been loyal customers to us over the years, a lot of people we are going to miss, like family, because we are that next door kind of family type place for them," said Cook.

Many of those customers nadine is refering to, work at First Merit Bank and are a huge part of her business.

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling released this statement about the layoffs. He says, "Everyone expected employment changes with the acquisition. It is hard to see these jobs leave Flint, but downtown continues to grow and we will more than make up for these jobs with future projects."

The layoffs take effect at the end of the month.

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