DC businesses brace for a government shutdown

5:38 PM, Sep 28, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- A government shutdown will have a ripple on government agencies, services, businesses and family lives across the country.

Small business owners on Capitol Hill are bracing for a possible shutdown.

"It's going to hurt, but there's nothing we can really do about it."

Tripp Burdett has been a bartender at Kelly's Irish Times for two years. The eatery and watering hole is steps away from federal government offices, and Union Station.

Burdett, "I was working here last night. There were customers complaining because they got their furlough notices. We get a lot of government workers, we get a lot of lobbyists, we get a lot of people who talk on Capitol Hill.

Federal workers on lunch break go to what's convenient. The restaurants and shops across the street. Local business owners are bracing for the worst if the government shuts down. They're trying to figure out how to survive when their customers are furloughed.

Behind the Capitol in Southeast, Sweet Lobby is souring on the prospects of fewer customers.

Eric Hayes says, "If there is a government shutdown it will affect businesses in the area. Not only will the agencies be shutdown, people are going to be fearful and cut back on their spending when that happens."

John Farr, "It's the busiest time for events for the events industry in this area."

John Farr owns a lighting company and he has scheduled events at the Smithsonian.

"Like the Air and Space Museum, Hazy, Natural History Museum. The events that are there, higher my lighting company to do lighting for their events as well as caterers, decorators and florists and chair rentals. All those companies will be impacted because those events won't happen because the facilities will be shutdown."

Burdett, "The whole country is invested but if this happens DC might be the next Detroit. When half the city is unemployed or doesn't have a paying job and all the subcontractors who get paid by the government and non-profits, this could become Detroit in two months, but who knows."

Renee Farr, business owner on Capitol Hill, "All we can do is go day by day and see how it pans out."

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