LESLIE, Mich. (WLNS) – Experts say that small towns have needs just like larger communities and oftentimes, that need is greater.

With businesses closing their doors in Leslie, some residents wonder if the small town they call home will survive, while others say it’s really not a big deal.

“The more that leaves I’m afraid that the city will become something that’s forgotten,” resident Shelby Fleury said.

Fleury was born and raised in Leslie. It’s a place she’s proud to call home but in recent years there have been some changes that have made it harder for her to enjoy the town she loves so much.

“It’s been a slew of very lucrative businesses and things that are very helpful for our community that have just been wiped out,” Fleury said.

Those businesses include the only grocery store, pharmacy, and ice cream shop in the city.

“My main concern is basically having our basic needs and the accessibility not only for the up-and-coming generations that can easily have jobs here but the elderly people that have the convenience of going right up the street to the store. There is somewhat the feel of a ghost town because it’s definitely changed and it changed so fast,” Fleury said.

“To say that Leslie is a ghost town is far from true,” resident Tiffany Killarney said

Killarney has been a Leslie resident since 2019 she believes the city is thriving and that people need to look around.

“Have they tried to support the new coffee shop that’s coming in? Do they go to Russell park? Do they come to the festivals? Do they do any of these things? What I think is no,” Killarney said.

Killarney said there are plenty of businesses to support.

“Boss Cider and the Main Street Bakery and we have two salons and we have two fully functioning gas stations which are amazing, we have a car wash, we had our first farmer’s market this summer that was wildly successful,” she said.

The city manager also said that new businesses will be opening next year and that he encourages residents to support the local businesses that are still in town.