Op-Ed | Government Shutdown Impact Runs Deep

View Article As Featured in Dayton Daily News

Business doesn’t have the option to not pass a financial budget and go on “strike.” Imagine if an internal disagreement at one of the Dayton area’s great companies forced them to not pass their financials, shut their doors, furlough all of their staff, cancel contracts and stop producing products. Sounds ridiculous and impossible, doesn’t it? Not for the federal government. Failure to pass federal budgets and allow a federal government shutdown hurts our business community, national defense, Dayton area families and creates a myriad of overall inefficiencies.

Dayton area businesses are resilient organizations that find solutions to problems, instead of throwing their hands up when the hard decisions have to be made. It is in our DNA as a business community to find a path to success. That is how our businesses and economy have evolved for decades.  

When a federal government shutdown occurs, there is a direct impact on economic drivers in our community like Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, U.S. Department of Defense research and development, contractors, civilians, financial institutions and many more. Pausing and restarting government projects is inefficient and costly for the federal government, not to mention the workforce headaches and operations issues our business community must deal with when Congress cannot agree on a budget. A federal government shutdown will create havoc for essential business services, like small business administration loan applications coming to a halt, immigration and visa approval delays, air travel chaos, financial service loan defaults, passport delays and even student loan issues (which have begun to resume).

A government shutdown is the worst-case scenario, but a threat of a government shutdown is not much better. Businesses cannot wait until Congress gets their act together and passes a 45-day band-aid budget at the last minute. Our business community has to have time to prepare, make personnel decisions, communicate and put contingency plans in place.  

On October 1, Congress narrowly avoided a shutdown by passing a 45-day funding bill that funds agencies at the previous year’s funding levels until November 17. Don’t get me wrong, many of the issues that were being deliberated; like aid to Ukraine, federal disaster assistance and government spending cuts are deserving of thorough debate and consideration. It is critical that Congressional leaders and the Administration work closely together, to come to a funding resolution, so we are not in the same boat on November 16. Our economy and livelihoods are at stake and we need Congress to keep our government efficiently open and operating.  The private sector doesn’t have the option to “delay” difficult decisions and the federal government shouldn’t either.

Chris Kershner, CAE
President & CEO
Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce