In a few days, thousands of local families will hear if they will take a pay cut as a result of the sequester. The cuts could affect 3435 workers at the Navy Depot, 4278 from Letterkenny Army Depot, and 834 from the Carlisle Barracks. That adds up to 8547 local workers facing possible financial hardship, and experts believe that is enough to hurt the local economy.
In downtown Mechanicsburg, near the Navy Depot, local small businesses have been experiencing a boom of sorts, a post-recession up-tick. Mary Beth Brath, of the Brath and Hughes Fine Art, LLC, located on Main Street in Mechanicsburg said there has been an impressive attitude among local business owners, in which they are cross promoting and supporting one another.
"There's been a lot of great things going on right here in our main business district downtown, with several businesses opening up in the last year and a half," she said, "There's a great spirit of community with everyone working together and pulling together as a team."
That team spirit, could soon be dampened, however, by looming furloughs to nearly nine thousand workers. According to George Book Jr., President and CEO of the West Shore Chamber of Commerce, the proposed pay cuts could have a serious trick-down effect, hurting local businesses who were just starting to recover from the 2008 recession.
"The timing of this is probably not a good thing for our area. I've spoken with lots of business leaders over recent months, it seems in our area, the tide is starting to shift and move in our favor in the small business community," he said.
A decision on whether the furloughs will be enacted is expected this Friday.