LEAVENWORTH, KAN—With a U.S. Army post, federal prison and a VA hospital, few cities in the metro area are a closely tied to federal government as Leavenworth, and local businesses there were making adjustments in the event of the narrowly-averted government shutdown.
Congressional leaders late Friday night announced a last-second budget deal that averted a government shutdown.
Roughly one out of every seven Leavenworth residents works in some capacity for the federal government. Officials say that a government shutdown lasting a week or two could mean tens of thousands of dollars lost for Leavenworth businesses, which officials are calling minor. But a shutdown lasting longer than that could permanently affect businesses in Leavenworth.
Colin Nelson runs Black Belt BBQ just a few blocks from the main entrance at Fort Leavenworth. He says that Friday's are usually busy at his place.
"Today is slow, it's slow compared to, say, last Friday," said Nelson. "After lunch time is when we make most of our business, and we did not make what we normally make a lunch time so we're depending on this afternoon."
Nelson says that his business depends on both the military and civilian workers at Fort Leavenworth.
"The military people to give us half our business," said Nelson. "It's slower than normal because I think people are holding on to their money because of the shutdown."
Nelson isn't alone in being concerned about the prospects of a shutdown. Oak Leaf Pub has only been open a month, and the owners say that they don't want to lose the customers they've already won over.
"Local car dealers, restaurants, everybody gonna suffer from it, I think it's (a disaster)," said pub owner Crystal Middlekamp. "Our plan is we can just put a price lower, beer special, appetizer special, so we try to maintain business."
The goal is to stay afloat if a shutdown happens.
"I would probably have to move to a different location where the population is more up," said Nelson.
Both Nelson and Middlekamp say that they are worried for military personnel, but they also know that it's not just federal workers that would be hurt by a shutdown.
"Without those people, we're not really going to sell the amount of things we normally sell," said Nelson.
"I think this is gonna affect a lot of American families," said Middlekamp.