By Charles H. Green
As the first full week of the federal government shutdown elapses and the 2nd week is about to begin, reactions to the prolonged impasse are emerging from every corner where a reporter or blogger pokes their nose.President Obama proved the power of the bully-pulpit with several high profile news interviews, speeches and appearance at a small business construction site and exceeded the air time given to the collective made-for-TV tirades of lesser-known House Republicans who are waging their fight as much inside their conference as with Senate Democrats.
Columbus Business First reports that lenders tell them “millions of dollars” of local small business investment is tied up as the federal government shutdown endures. “Borrowers are uncertain when their loans will be approved,” said Cathy Garland, CEO of the Community Capital Development Corp. And, though lenders continue to accept applications, deals are entered into a queue at the shuttered Small Business Administration. “Perhaps worst of all,” Garland said, “is that uncertainty is scaring away potential borrowers.”
The Washington Post reported on ADP’s National Employment Report that small companies (less than 50 employees) added 74,000 new workers in September, reminding policymakers that the shutdown is affecting financing to this vital sector. [The Bureau of Labor did not release official September statistics due to the shutdown].
In perhaps a more opinionated slant on the news, Inside Tucson Business asked “What if they closed the federal government and no one noticed?”
“If the shutdown continues for a longer period that will impact our ability to provide new borrowers with the loan commitments that they need to close pending contracts,” said Bill Habermeyer of Florida Business Development Corp. to the Tampa Bay Business Journal. “Nationally, the government shutdown means “America’s 28 million small businesses will be unable to access an average of $96 million in capital…per day as well as an average of $1.9 billion in capital per month,” a statement from the SBA said, according to ABC News.
Gallup reports that their weekly survey of Americans’ confidence in the U.S. economy dropped sharply as the partial government shutdown caused by Congress’ inability to pass a spending bill has become reality. Their Economic Confidence Index’s three-day rolling average stands at -34 for Oct. 1-3, down 14 points from Sept. 27-29, and the lowest such average since December 2011.
Best headline: “The Inmates Are In Charge of the Asylum” by Perry B. Newman in the Bangor (ME) Daily News.