SEARCY, Ark. (AP) — Searcy Mayor David Morris says the immediate closing of the Yarnell's ice cream plant is "devastating" to the region. Not only are 200 jobs lost, but also a part of the community's identity. While Yarnell's wasn't the city's largest employer, it could be argued that it churned out Searcy's best-known export.
Chamber of Commerce officials say they're already working to help those laid off when Yarnell's said Thursday its costs had become unmanageable.
The chamber says Wal-Mart's distribution center is Searcy's largest employer, with 1,050 workers. It is followed by Land o' Frost, Chesapeake Energy-BHP Billiton, Bryce Corp. and Eaton Corp.
The Searcy Daily Citizen says Arkansas once had 50 small ice-cream companies, and now has none. Yarnell's delivered ice cream to Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.
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