Government shutdown could mean millions lost for Tucson's economy -- every day

Simone Del Rosario

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Government shutdown could mean millions lost for Tucson's economy -- every day

CREATED Sep. 27, 2013

 TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The country is just days away from a possible government shutdown, and while Congress is fighting over the budget in Washington, their actions will have a huge impact in Tucson. 

Tens of thousands of federal workers in Arizona may be sent home -- furloughed -- if Congress fails to reach a budget deal by Tuesday. Thousands more in Tucson could be working without getting paid. 

But the looming shutdown doesn't affect just federal workers.

"As a small business woman it affects me everyday," said restaurant owner Brenda De Souza. 

De Souza owns Chaco's Cafe down the road from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and worries about what the shutdown means for her and her regulars. 

"The base is right here by our business so it drastically affects us. We do a lot of military; they're our bread and butter."

Nineteen thousand people work at Davis-Monthan, including more than 3,000 civilian workers. If the shutdown goes through, the military will work without pay and civilians won't work at all. 

When broken down, that's $1.76 million in payroll each day -- money Tucson's economy won't see. 

The military will be reimbursed for their pay but civilians and other furloughed federal workers may not see a dime. 

"If in fact the government is shut down, I'm going to furlough myself in the sense of putting my pay into local charities," said Rep. Ron Barber. "They're going to need it to take care of the issues that come up as a result of the government shutdown."

And the longer the shutdown, the deeper the impact on Tucson.

It's a wide-ranging impact: National Parks, like the Grand Canyon, could close; student and business loan applications may be put on hold; gun permit applications could be delayed; and new social security recipients may be waiting longer to be processed and paid.