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Government Shutdown Bad For Business
The government shutdown is not only affecting the 800,000 federal workers who-- among other things-- keep national parks, museums and wildlife areas open. It is also affecting those who enjoy those areas for recreation and local workers, who depend on them to make a living.
Lake Shelbyville is a place where people can camp, boat, fish or even swim-- but not on Saturday. The brewing storm was not what was turning people around, rather, the ongoing storm in Washington.
Yellow barricades replace federal workers who once waved in eager campers, boaters, swimmers and fishermen.
"We basically have closed down for the week," Hoot It Bait and Tackle Shop Owner Pat Nothaus said.
Nothaus was reeling customers in.
"Last weekend was one of our best weekends since the Fourth of July," Nothaus said.
This weekend his customers are-- quite literally-- not taking the bait.
"[They are] not really buying anything. [They are asking,] 'Where can we fish? Is there anywhere we can fish?'" Nothaus said.
Nothaus tells them there are two creeks with open boat ramps about 30 minutes away but that is it.
Meanwhile, down the street, boaters are calling it a season.
"People are servicing boats, winterizing boats, putting them away for the winter," Sixteen Marine Owner Brian Halbrook said.
Halbrook says the shutdown is not yet affecting his sales.
"Honestly in this business I'm not too worried about it for the simple fact we still have two or three ramps open on the lake," Halbrook said.
But that is only enough to leave Nothaus hanging on by a thread. His workers are-- for now-- out of a job.
"Young, you know, high school girl that comes in every day after school. So she's losing, you know, 15 to 18 hours a week. And in the mornings we have a fresh-out-of-high-school boy that comes in. It's the trickle down effect, I mean, it hits everybody," Nothaus said.
In addition to Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds and parks, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services are now closed too. That includes the one in Meredosia.