Government Shutdown 9 Days and Counting….

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Nicole Phelps
Vice President Sales and Marketing

Government Shutdown: 9 Days and Counting

Aloha! I’m back from honeymooning in Hawaii and after 3 weeks, 4 islands, 2,176 emails, and 1 government shutdown later… it feels good to be back.

My husband, Kevin, and I were on Kauai, the last leg of our trip, on the 1st when the shutdown went into effect and after being completely disassociated with real world events the news actually surprised us for a moment. “Oh yeah…” Ah, newlyweds.

While, luckily for us, the government shutdown did not impact our trip, its impact on a small economy largely dependent on tourism was very noticeable. The Pearl Harbor commissary and ticket offices had been closed. All the national park sites were now shut down and inaccessible to visitors. (Had we planned a slightly different itinerary, we may have missed parts of the Pearl Harbor exhibits on Oahu or the Haleakala Crater on Maui, both are must sees). Local business owners reported fear that a shutdown for more than a few days would hurt, a few weeks would be devastating. Signs were posted on popular scenic lookouts: “Due to the Government Shutdown…”

I returned to the office to learn several of our friends and clients from government agencies and defense contractors were furloughed. And I’m not just talking about a couple folks from each division. Entire offices were closed, leaving all business activities for that program on hold. In some cases product deliveries were postponed until further notice. Proposals recently submitted were untouched, awaiting a government contracting officer’s review. Outgoing calls and emails regarding active programs curiously stopped being responded to. Half a dozen meetings scheduled for October turned to ‘pending’ status.

Just about everyone I’ve spoken to has been impacted in some way. If you’re in the electronics manufacturing services industry, I’m sure you’re asking the same question… “How in the hell can people conduct business this way?” This is a demanding market and suddenly flipping the ‘off’ switch on even the smallest of programs seems downright sinful, not to mention the financial impacts on individuals and businesses alike.

Many of us are cautiously optimistic that the shutdown won’t (can’t) last much longer. Rumors are flying this way and that on how long the shutdown will last with some saying it will go until the 17th’s deadline to up the debt ceiling when one party will ultimately cave. A nationally played out high stakes game of chicken…Really?

You think that trick would work on Kevin?

…just kidding dear…

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