What Shutdown? 82 Percent Of Small Businesses Are ‘Unaffected’ By Federal Lapse, Study Says

Tim Pearce | Energy Reporter

Most small businesses are “unaffected” by the federal government shutdown that is stretching into its fifth week, according to a poll from the Job Creators Network (JCN).

JCN surveyed 427 of its members, all small business owners, from Jan. 16 to 22 and released the results Tuesday. JCN reported 82 percent of small business owners have not noticed any impact on their operations since the shutdown began Dec. 22. Roughly 7 percent of respondents said they were “somewhat affected,” and another 7 percent said they were “very affected.”

“There’s no doubt that this is disruptive to the federal employees who are missing paychecks, but the impact on small business nationally is still fairly limited,” JCN President and CEO Alfredo Ortiz said in a statement. (RELATED: Small Business Owners have ‘Grave Concerns’ Over Democrats Proposed Minimum Wage Hike)

“We don’t want to minimize the problems this is causing for some small businesses and federal employees, but it certainly isn’t the national economic disaster that the news coverage makes it seem,” Ortiz said. “The effects of the shutdown are so far confined to government contractors and businesses that serve communities with large concentrations of government employees.”

The JCN survey also questioned small business owners on the media’s coverage of the shutdown. Ninety-three percent said media coverage of the shutdown is biased against President Donald Trump. Less than 5 percent of respondents said the coverage was fair, according to poll data.

“Small business owners believe almost universally that the news media is failing to present the story in a balanced way,” Ortiz said.

Federal air traffic controller union members protest the partial U.S. federal government shutdown in a rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. Jan. 10, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Federal air traffic controller union members protest the partial U.S. federal government shutdown in a rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. Jan. 10, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The shutdown has affected roughly 800,000 federal workers. Federal worker unions are suing the Trump administration over the shutdown and Democrat lawmakers have taken part in several union protests to position themselves on the side of workers during the shutdown and in the lead-up to the 2020 election.

Congress overwhelmingly passed bipartisan legislation Jan. 11 approving backpay to all federal employees who have continued to work through the shutdown even though their regularly scheduled paychecks have been interrupted.

The federal shutdown will likely have a noticeable impact on the U.S. economy, and that impact will grow larger as the shutdown continues. Economists speculate the shutdown might end a streak of job growth lasting 99 straight months, the longest in U.S. history.

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