Despite a Possible Deal, Mainers Feel the Impacts from the Government Shutdown

Updated 9 months ago

Charles Piper owns a small business in Searsport.

His company, Sundog Solar, installs solar panels and installation is usually funded for by federal grants or rebates.

Piper said at least one customer was waiting to hear from the Department of Agriculture for the money.

“He turned his paperwork in the week before the shutdown and they told him were not doing business right now so that job is on hold,” said Piper.

Even though lawmakers are growing closer to a deal, Piper said he knows it’s going to take a while for the grants to be approved and his employees to get to work.

“There’s a backlog and it’s going to take time to work through that so we’re not sure how long that will take, so we’re going day to day right now,” said the owner of Sundog Solar.

On Wednesday, Senate leaders reached a bipartisan deal in Washington that would reopen the government through January 15 and increase the nation’s borrowing authority through February 7th.

But one expert said that might not be the best plan, since there’s another end date in sight.

Husson University Business Professor Lee Speronis said ,”If we keep pushing back the uncertainty that’s creating the impact that it’s certain that we’re going to remain uncertain now I’m not going to spend anything.”

Speronis is worried about the upcoming holiday season and how the deal could affect seasonal employment.

“You’re not going to hire an additional employee. You’re going to wait and see. We’re going to take that wait and see approach,” said the professor.

For now, Speronis says lawmakers need to focus on the issue at hand: getting money back in america’s pocket. “I think the optimism would help if they just showed a sign that they can work together I think that would be huge.”

It is possible lawmakers could lift the partial shutdown by the end of the week.


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