YARMOUTH, N.S. -- Close to 200 families in southwestern Nova Scotia have been handed upsetting news just weeks before Christmas.

Web.com is closing up after 18 years in the area and people from surrounding communities who work there are reeling.

Macayla Cook is still in shock after learning she'll be without work in the new year.

"A multitude of things are going through my head," Cook said. "I'm still trying to figure out how to actually process the news."

Late Wednesday afternoon, Web.com announced its Yarmouth office will close its doors by mid-2020, leaving 198 people jobless.

"I thought that job was pretty secure and had a long future ahead of it, so this caught me off guard more than anything," said Aaron Goodyer, a Web.com employee.

Web.com is based out of Florida and provides a variety of internet services to businesses.

The company's New Glasgow office went through layoffs earlier this year and there's also a location in Halifax.

The closure of Web.com affects more than just the town of Yarmouth. People from Digby, Shelburne and Yarmouth counties work there too, some for the past 18 years.

"It's tremendously difficult, especially this time of year," said Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood."It's Christmas, it's the holidays, winter months are coming, so it's devastating news."

In a statement, Web.com says it appreciates employees' many contributions and that "with our recent acquisition and expanded global presence, we have made workforce changes across various locations to align our organization with these new capabilities … We will be working closely with all levels of government and agencies to provide assistance to our employees."

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says he's "optimistic that we can find another operator who'll work in that community. I know there's been some interest, but nothing confirmed."

A local economic development organization says it will be looking to connect with employees affected by the closure.

"Navigate them towards other employers in the region, and some of them might even be interested in some business start-up opportunities," said Angelique LeBlanc of the Western Regional Enterprise Network.

In the meantime, Cook says she has no idea where the new year will take her.

"It's absolutely terrifying and heartbreaking," Cook said.

Web.com has yet to announce the Yarmouth facility's official closing date.