Government Shut Down Could Hurt Bellevue Business

Kelly Bartnick

Photo: Video by

Government Shut Down Could Hurt Bellevue Business

CREATED Sep. 30, 2013

Bellevue, NE – Bellevue businesses could take a hit if the government shuts down Tuesday. About 1000 workers at Offutt Air Force Base are expected to be sent home Tuesday and those required to report may not be paid. 

Offutt has 8,800 workers report each day. Members of the military would still be paid thanks to a resolution passed by the Senate Monday. But they would also be required to perform other necessary tasks normally done by civilians.

Bellevue Business owner Dan Kouba said business slowed Monday ahead of the possible shut-down. 

Base crowds make up more than half the diners at The Dairy Twist in Old Town Bellevue. It’s been there for 30 years. Kouba says while his Monday lunch was slower than usual he wasn’t worried. That could all change Tuesday though. 

“Normally the end of the month is good for us because they're going to get paid. But who knows now?” Kouba said. “Anything from the construction workers that usually get the contracts out there, to the civil people, to the military themselves, everyone is very dependent on that base.”  

“It'll make a difference to them. It really will,” said Bellevue resident Dolores Rubenstein. 

The Rubenstein's are retired, but both worked at the base during their past 33 years in Bellevue. She’s seen furloughs before and knows firsthand how the community and the workers are affected. 

“There'll be things that'll be closed that will be affected by it. I used to work at the clinic and that will be affected,” Rubenstein said. 

“I've always had a lot of military wives and even servicemen themselves work for me the past two years where they need two jobs to keep things afloat,” said Kouba. 

Kouba says he’ll depend on his regulars and wait until everything resumes normally, expecting to tighten his belt along with his customers.