Goverment shutdown hurting the pockets of local businesses
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED Oct. 4, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla. - They may be federal icons but two famous Florida residents want you to know they are not part of the government shutdown.
The reach of the shutdown is moving far beyond national agencies and is hitting the pockets of local businesses.
The Edison and Ford Winter Estates employees have been busy, not with the customers but with the phones.
They're getting double the calls this week all while business is dropping off.
Employees fear the government is to blame.
"We're still open," said employee Kelly Schultz. She is fielding a lot of the phone calls. "We're going to just do everything we can to make sure everybody knows we are here."
Customers are wondering if they are the latest casualty of the government shutdown. Schultz is worried about those who don't call.
"Is it concerning when you get calls like these?" reporter Kelli Stegeman asked Schultz.
"It is concerning cause we're hoping that the number of calls we have been getting is not correlating to the number of people who are not even bothering to call because maybe they just assume we are closed," she replied.
The numbers show the shutdown is hurting the bottom line.
"We've been up about 5% and to be honest with you it continued there until this week and then the numbers dropped off," said Edison and Ford Estates President & CEO Chris Pendleton.
The weekends during the off season are popular at the estates for families driving in from other parts of the Florida. Pendleton thinks Floridans won't be the only visitors kept away.
"We're worried about the European markets seeing some changes," she said.
The business that is dedicated to the days of old is now trying to keep with the times turning to social media to keep history alive.
The good news for the historical site is the busiest time of the year is just around the corner for the holidays where they can get as many as 2,000 people a day.