Thousands of layoffs made across U.S.

MONROVIA, Calif. In Southern California, /*Home Depot Expo Design Center*/ announced layoffs in Monrovia on Monday. In fact, all 34 Expo Design Centers across the country are slated to close. /*Home Depot*/ says that will mean 7,000 employees will be laid off. Those layoffs create a vicious circle within the community.

"Unfortunately, this is a giant that has been around for a long time. It's a trickle effect. It's going to affect local businesses," said Josh Topaz, a local small-business owner, about the Expo Design Center closing in Monrovia. "It's pretty unfortunate."

The news isn't just unfortunate for the small businesses near the Expo Design Center, but also for the vendors who supply fixtures and other products for the store.

"We represent 12 manufacturers around the country and four of them are here in all the Expos. So, yeah, it's going to hit our bottom line pretty hard," said Fred Mayfield, an Expo Design Center vendor.

And when the bottom line is hit, it doesn't matter the size of your business. Big or small, the income drops, leaving less money to spend elsewhere. That means, big purchases - like an automobile - get put on hold indefinitely and dealerships begin to close. That, in turn, means more jobs are lost.

/*Unemployment*/ creates stress and put family discussions on edge, with most family topics circulating around finances.

Suddenly house payments are becoming a burden and mortgages are going into foreclosure. Other houses depreciate and homeowners stop improving their homes; and places like Expo Design Center go out of business.

"You make friends at those places and they're getting laid off, or cutting their hours back," said Troy Mugleston, an Expo Design Center customer. "And how are you going to pay your bills?"

So the loss of one job can affect the entire community.

/*President Obama*/ is hoping that his stimulus bill will break the vicious circle.

In the meantime, there are some job openings. Businesses like /*Target*/ and /*H&R Block*/ are hiring. The U.S. government also needs census takers.



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