Spurlock Automotive located at 703 S. Spruce St. in Pine Bluff plans to close its doors for good Oct. 31 after more than 50 years in business.
Owner Ronnie Spurlock cites an increasingly hostile environment for his decision.
“No one seems to care about local small business in Pine Bluff and it has become increasingly difficult to remain open,” Spurlock wrote in a letter to The Commercial. “When the theft rate of your inventory is higher than your sales, it’s time to go. When reporting theft to the police is a waste of time, it’s time to go. When the city council would rather argue about race and personal agendas than try to fix what’s wrong with this city, it’s time to go.”
The business was opened in its current location by Spurlock’s father Howard Spurlock in 1962 as an auto body repair shop which closed in 1982. Ronnie Spurlock reopened the business in 1996 as a salvage yard.
The business website said that all of the automotive parts in the yard are included in a master inventory management system that is updated daily and listed on the Internet.
“There’s hardly a day that you don’t read something about the city council that’s negative,” Spurlock said in his letter. “Wake up. Your tax base is leaving. You are losing your small businesses.”
Spurlock said that he continues to wish the city and its residents well.
“I wish the city and the population all my best wishes and I hope it’s not too late,” Spurlock said. “Goodbye to all of my loyal customers. I thank you for all your support over the years.”