Government Shutdown Spells Losses for Businesses

February 19, 2014

Scores of public parks, museums and buildings shuttered their doors yesterday as parts of the federal government shutdown. They closed at the hand of petty politicians in Washington who just couldn’t get along. Across the nation, newscasters predicted the minimal effects that the shutdown would have on the American people; Our travel would not be delayed, they advised. They also reported that the military would continue to receive its pay on time. For most of us, it would be life as usual.

 

However, there is an under-reported, though equally important reality unfolding for many of America’s small business owners.  The pinch of the government shutdown is being felt in more ways than one.

 

Below are 5 examples of how the shutdown is affecting our nation’s entrepreneurs:

[1] Small businesses that are contracted by and operate in government offices will see delays in their payments. Many of their contracts will be affected. Some will go unpaid all together and have to eat the losses.

 

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[2] Some government-backed small business loans will take longer to secure. Moreover, the SBA will be unavailable to business owners needing assistance until the situation is sorted out.[3] E-verify systems across the nation are suspended. This means that employers will not be able to check to see if a potential hire is documented until after the shutdown. This will lead to delays in hiring.[4] During the last shutdown America’s national parks and monuments lost approximately two million visitors. Similarly, vendors and shop owners who supply these parks and the runoff from park business have already reported losses.[5] Construction companies, cleaning companies, medical supply companies and others that service military personnel and bases are also losing.

 

 

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When our elected officials display this level of dysfunction our economy suffers. The American worker feels the impact directly and indirectly. While we could gripe about the pitfalls of the shutdown, it is best we view it as an opportunity for us to pay attention to the decisions that lawmakers claim to be making on our behalf. We must ask ourselves today, “Are these politicians looking out for our best interests or that of a party’s ideology?” Although I can see the virtue of both sides, in the long run a compromise by which the right and left can come to center for the good of all is what we are clamoring for as a nation.

 

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