Horsham Businesses React to New Job Influx
Businesses located on Easton Road shared how they envision 250 new jobs at the Horsham Air Guard Station impacting the local region.
Jon Waxman lost 25 percent of his business at Lee’s Hoagie House after the closure of Willow Grove air base. Now, with news that the adjacent Horsham Air Guard Station will be home to 250 new jobs, Waxman is hoping to make up some of that deficit.
“It’ll be great for business,” said Waxman, who owns the Horsham and Abington Lee’s locations. “As they fill the base up, that’s definitely going to help.”
For the most part, the constant stream of military customers comes only on weekends when reservists are at the Horsham Air Guard Station for drills, he said.
“When we open up we’ll have a full dining room maybe two times over with the reserve people,” Waxman said.
It’s a far cry from when all 1,100 acres of NASJRB Willow Grove were up and running, he said.
“We were delivering over to the base 20 times a day,” Waxman said.
Since the base closed in September 2011, Waxman said his business has struggled, in part because of losing a built-in customer base, as well as economic challenges.
“Our food costs are higher then they’ve ever been,” Waxman said, adding that he has to “work harder to make the same amount of money.”
Waxman was not alone in welcoming the influx of jobs–and potential local business patrons–to Horsham. Jo-Anne Zapata, Greater Horsham Chamber of Commerce co-founder and president, said she was “looking forward to it.”
“Those 250 people staffing the new jobs would most likely use all of the retail services in Horsham at one time or another as well as hotels during the relocation process and either the rental or purchase of homes,” said Zapata, who serves as general manager of the Days Inn Horsham. “It will have a very positive impact on this area. “
A manager at Lancers Diner on Easton Road, another popular eatery for air base personnel, seemed less sure of the impact the new jobs could bring.
“Time will tell won’t it,” said the woman, who refused to give her name.
What do you think about the drone command center, the 250 jobs coming to the Horsham Air Guard Station and its impact on the local business community? Tell us in the comments.