Wright-Patt Workers, Local Businesses Concerned About Shutdown

Oct 2, 2013

Leaders of the 88th Air Base Wing held a press conference Monday on the impact of an emergency furlough.
Credit WYSO/Lewis Wallace

 Nearly 9,000 employees of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base remain on emergency furlough following the federal government shutdown, and workers and businesses are worried about the financial impact, particularly if the partial shutdown is prolonged.

Wright-Patt officials estimate that for every day the government stays closed, the Dayton area loses $5 million in wages.

"This is my only income,” said Suzanne Rosen, who has done office work on the base for 27 years. “I’ve got a 21-year-old son who lives with me and a daughter who’s still in high school...and I’m the breadwinner. That’s concerning.”

But she’s not just concerned about the shutdown.

“I’m angry about it,” she said.

“Those dollars never get spent again,” said Ron Kutcher, who sells artisan bread to restaurants in Dayton. He remembers the last government shutdown in the 90s as a major hit to the restaurant business. So, he’s worried about his own bottom line this time around. “Once the government reopens, it’s not like they come back and spend twice as much for the next two weeks because they were off work for two weeks, it just doesn’t work like that.”

Meanwhile, Wright-Patt officials say many base services are limited or closed until further notice.