Local businesses brace for furlough impact

By: Alexandra Cowley


The naval employees at Newport's Navy Base are a big part of driving the local economy. Some business owners worry if those workers are furloughed, they won't be spending any money.

Coddingtown Brewing Company in Middletown is just around the corner from the Newport Naval base, making it a hot spot for the thousands of government workers.

“We do get a lot of contractors coming in and out from Virginia, Washington, and Massachusetts area,”said owner Billy Christy.

Christy took over the family restaurant and bar 17 years ago. In that time, he's seen his fair share of ups and downs with his government paid customers.

“Different contracts come and go and different things change on the base over the years, but we're still here,” grinned Christy.

Christy knows what the government shutdown and furloughs will ultimately do to his business.

“The island does depend on those people over there, there's thousands of people that work over there,” he said.

Customer Chuck Dennis is vacationing in Rhode Island from Pennsylvania where he works in a warehouse as a government employee. He's wondering if he'll have a job to return to.

“When I get there they'll tell me either come on in or go home well let you know when to come back,”said Dennis.

It's a waiting game for millions of Americans who will be affected by a possible government shutdown. Christy is just bracing for the impact, hoping it won't last long.

“Hopefully people don't lose their jobs tomorrow and they get their paychecks, that's the big thing, because their paycheck is our local economy on this island,” he said.

(C) WLNE-TV 2013