Shutdown: Uncertainty plagues civil servants, WPAFB workers, businesses


Employees at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will report to work on Monday for further instructions.

On Main Street in downtown Fairborn Saturday night there were a lot of questions about the partial shutdown, from workers who may be at risk of furlough to businesses those workers visit.

>> Air Force museum closes: Wright-Patt workers face furlough

“It’s definitely uncertainty,” Casey Hudson, a civil servant who works in finances with the Air National Guard in Springfield.

He’s headed to work this week with or without a budget approved by Congress, and possibly without getting paid on time.

“I still have to go to work,” Hudson said. “It’s not fun not getting a paycheck, so I’m just trying to make sure I’m on top of my finances.”

>> Wright Patt: Workers to show up Monday even if shutdown in place

Inside Giovanni’s pizzeria in downtown Fairborn, it was business as usual. But management is keeping an eye on what happens hundreds of miles away, in Washington, wondering how long this shutdown could last.

“If it’s a week we’ll probably lose, probably $5- to $7,000, just from sales, from people not coming,” General Manager Karl Henry said.

WPAFB active duty and civil servants make up 60 to 70 percent of the customers at Giovanni’s, Henry said. When they don’t get paid or are uncertain, they won’t spend money at the restaurant. That’s what happened in 2013 when the government briefly shut down.

“It came to a slow crawl. We’d only get a few couples in, we cut our staff real thin, it got real slow,” Henry said.

>> Government shutdown on anniversary of Trump inauguration

After the 2013 shutdown, workers who stayed on the job unpaid and those furloughed were reimbursed.

But businesses who rely on the base’s staff get no such compensation, and can only hold out for a quick end.

“Hopefully Congress will get together and this will all kind of go away and we’ll get this budget approved,” Henry said.

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