Local Economy Feels Shutdown Impact

By: Sanika Dange Email
By: Sanika Dange Email

Local federal agencies are starting to feel the impact of Monday night's government shutdown.

Most offices are deserted as ordered.

If Congress doesn't reach a compromise soon, the shutdown could affect the local economy.

FlyBy Coffee employee Marilyn Martinez says she usually serves 150 customers a day.

Most ordering for themselves and coworkers.

Martinez says, "Almost all of our business comes from Tyndall. A lot of airmen and a lot of workers come from out there."

But after the midnight shutdown, she says, "I've been really slow today. i've had maybe two people since I've been here."

Tyndall officials say as many as 700 civilian employees could be furloughed, but it's difficult to get that information.

No one answered our calls at the local US Fish and Wildlife office.

Panama City Port directed us to a Washington, DC media number.

And when you call the NSA-PC, you get a voicemail explaining their absence because of the furloughs.

We did get a briefing card NSA-PC employees received Monday which said, "A government shutdown would place significant hardships on our workforce, which has already been strained by recent administrative furloughs."

The only federal agency that doesn't seem concerned is Panama City's Head Start program.

Its national chapter is shut down but individual chapters are continuing to operate on grant money.

Dr. Pam Fleege explains, "Of course it all depends on how long the government is shut down, because if our grant year runs out in November and things are still going on, then we're all in deep trouble."

If Congress has not reached a compromise by November 30th the entire Head Start program will shut down affecting 570 kids locally.

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