By Sherry Youngquist
WALNUT COVE - In Walnut Cove, it goes without saying that on a lot of days its 1,523 residents drive the 17 miles into Winston-Salem for work, shopping and entertainment.
The small town's Main Street is home to a few offices, hardware stores and a feed mill. There are also grocery stores and strip malls nearby, but few other businesses exist in Walnut Cove to keep those residents and their dollars from driving out.
Town officials say they didn't realize how big the leak was until a study was released this week by the N.C. Department of Commerce, as part of Walnut Cove's participation in the Small Town Main Street Program. The study estimated that in one year Walnut Cove loses more than $38 million to businesses outside the town limits.