Tyndall Air Force Base in need of funding, could affect local businesses

Published: Apr. 26, 2019 at 5:17 PM CDT
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Since the 1940s, Tyndall Air Force Base has been serving our country and our local community.

Business owners near the base say a lot of their revenue comes from those who staff the base. Without them, their businesses may suffer in the long run.

“I would be very concerned, lack of revenue, lack of people," said Pizzeria Napoli Owner, Julia Ahamed.

Ahamed moved her restaurant from Springfield to her current location off Tyndall Parkway after Hurricane Michael.

“It took us six months to get back and now we are and we’re doing a lot of Tyndall business, or all the Tyndall that is there," said Ahamed.

Ahamed says before the storm, “I could have days where my whole restaurant was in uniform.”

Some other businesses nearby say they see a lot of airmen and women as well.

“We have military in and out all day long, they even come by just to say hi and see us, you know," said Owner of the tattoo parlor N8V Ink, Michael "Red Bear" Donham.

But Donham says if Tyndall doesn't get the money it needs to remain open, he's not concerned.

“I’m not worried about our business, in that aspect whatsoever," said Donham.

Robert Conners owns a waterproofing and restoration company in Mexico Beach. He says he's certainly not concerned about a lack of work for himself, but it's other contractors he fears for if Tyndall doesn't get the funding it needs.

“You see the destruction here, we have work for at least a decade, but all the other contractors that, you know, that’s where their livelihood is, yeah, I don’t want them to lose it because that’s where most of their work is," said Conners.

Congressman Neal Dunn is confident Tyndall will stand strong.

“Tyndall will be rebuilt. It will have three F35 fighter squadrons, it’ll have an MQ9 squadron, it’ll be, it’ll actually have a larger combat mission than it did before the storm," said Dunn.

Dunn says it's only a matter of time for Tyndall to get the money it needs to get back to full strength.

Wednesday, May 1 is when we'll know if federal funding for Tyndall will be approved.