Sensata Technologies job losses: 'It'll have a knock-on effect on everybody in the town'
The loss of almost 300 jobs at Sensata Technologies will "hit the heart" of Carrickfergus, local business owners and residents have warned.
The company, which makes tyre pressure monitoring systems, blamed a drop in demand for its products for the decision to shut down the site by early next year.
Gregg Braniff, who works at Dobbins Inn, said the news was "devastating for the town" and had come as a "complete shock".
"It's going to have a knock-on effect on everybody. We have two members of staff already affected by it. It's not good news to start the year with," he added.
His view was echoed by Karen Kerr, who owns Cuddys department store.
"Any business going out of the town will have an effect on the economics of the town, but like everything else we just have to weather it and see what happens," she said.
"There certainly won't be jobs in the town to replace them (the lost positions). Anyone who has a job in this town is holding onto it by their fingernails.
Please log in or register with belfasttelegraph.co.uk for free access to this article.
"I have 30 or 40 CVs regularly with people looking for jobs. There are no jobs here and anybody with one doesn't move from it."
Ms Kerr's concerns about the lack of jobs in the town were a recurring theme on a main street pockmarked with shuttered premises.
Anita McCabe, who owns children's clothes shop The Mulberry Bush, felt the job losses would "have a big impact" on the local area.
"As a new business only opened in October, I depend on the business that I'm getting and I need to keep those customers coming in, but I don't know how they're going to replace those jobs," she felt.
"But people have to think positively. This is a new shop that I've opened. I've taken a risk to do that and I think other people need to take risks as well.
"The rates review will help with new businesses. If we can get a few more into the town, it will help things."
Carrick resident Joe Hoey said the closure would "hit the heart" of the town.
He added: "It's not fair on the families of the people who have lost their jobs. It will hit the next generation. What's going to be here for them?"