Tags: shutdown | small | business
Image: Shutdown's Collateral Damage: The Corner Grocery Takes a Hit

Shutdown's Collateral Damage: The Corner Grocery Takes a Hit

Wednesday, 02 Oct 2013 07:31 AM

By Elliot Jager

The partial government shutdown is already a drag on the broader economy – to the tune of $300 million per day, according to Bloomberg  – and no one is feeling the pain more than ordinary citizens who depend on federal services and workers.

It takes a lot to rattle America's $15.7 trillion economy so initially hemorrhaging $12.5 million an hour, or about $1.6 billion a week will have little noticeable effect, according to ABC News.

Consider, though, that 800,000 to 1 million furloughed government workers are likely to think twice before reaching into their pockets to do any discretionary spending.

And taxpayers don't necessarily come out ahead just because the government stops spending money, according to the Pew Research Center. In fact, experts say the U.S. will likely suffer a 0.1 percentage point drop in economic growth, Bloomberg reported.

When the government shut down – twice in 1996 – the damage to the economy came to the tune of $1.4 billion ($2.1 billion in 2013 dollars), according to Pew.

Routine private business is being stymied. For instance, citizens cannot apply for small business loans. The Los Angeles Times reported that the government's online E-Verify system is offline so companies cannot determine whether potential hires can legally work in the country. Leyli Jahangiri, who owns a grocery store in downtown Miami told the local CBS-affiliate: "What it does is, it doesn’t allow me to check out a potential employee's background so how can I verify? It kinda slows things down."

Across the nation, vendors who provide services to the government are not being paid. In Denver, Lisa Buckley, the CEO of a security management firm, told the local CBS-affiliate station that she needs the thousands of dollars owed to her to cover the salaries of her 45 employees.

In Massachusetts, WCVB reported that the Lexington and Concord tourist industry was starting to feel the shutdown. Storeowners in historic Lexington are concerned that with so many attractions closed, tourists will stay away torpedoing their usually busy fall season.

In Phoenix, contractor Ian Wist, who has done $250,000 worth of business supplying office products to a local military base, fears the impact on his business will be "substantial," according to Azfamily.com.

In Atlanta, Marjorie Rieder an independent investor told WSB-TV that the shutdown is making her think twice about the country's economic prospects: "I was supposed to put another pretty large amount of money into the stock market on a schedule and I'm like, 'No way, not doing it," she told the station.

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