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South Bend land purchase may be closing small businesses

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A small business is sounding off about a possible property takeover at a busy intersection near Notre Dame.

In the last month multiple businesses have closed along State Road 23 near Ironwood.

There has not been much of any explanation, but owners at The Nail Cottage are worried popular car wash and lube company Drive & Shine could purchase the land where their salon currently sits.

“For me, (Nail Cottages is) my livelihood, owner Donna McGowen said.

“I have a husband that’s disabled. I take care of my daughter and granddaughter. So for me, this could be devastating.”

“I just feel that there’s been a lot of underhanded sneakiness going on with all of this,” manager Tisa Chastain said.

“And no one’s been forthcoming and honest.”

Drive & Shine declined to comment or give any information to ABC 57 on them contacting landlords for new construction.

“Well the fact is that (our landlords) have been contacted by Drive & Shine,” McGowen said.

“I reached out to them yesterday and they admitted Drive & Shine had contacted them and that I possibly have three months before there is going to be a done deal.”

That paints bad news, especially for this small business, according to the two.

“It means that we would have to either close or relocate,” Chastain said.

“And in this business doing nails, it’s really difficult because people get into routines and they expect us to be here. And if we’re not here, they’ll just go across the street.”

Even customers who like both Drive & Shine and coming into the salon said they don’t see a reason for another construction job that closes a small business.

“Why do they want another Drive & Shine?” customer Minette Brown said.

“They got one right down the street that they just put a lot of money in! I don’t understand it.”

The Nail Cottage’s owners hope to find a way to still be busy as ever in the coming months, they said.

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