NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The midday bustle at shops and restaurants outside Naval Station Norfolk could slow to a trickle if the government shuts down next week.
“We’ve seen this story before in Hampton Roads,” said Bob McNab, ODU economics professor and director of the Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy. “Restaurants near the bases will see an immediate drop off, if they haven’t already, as they prepare for a shutdown.”
Military families and federal workers may not get another paycheck for who knows how long.
“You would have to make some very hard decisions about what you could afford, and you would be talking to your bank about your mortgage, about your car loan,” McNab said.
If you have your federal paycheck directly deposited to USAA, you can get an interest free loan for one paycheck, up to $6,000 during a shutdown.
Mark Pregmon, vice president of consumer lending for USAA Bank, told WAVY they want to serve those that serve us.
“So you can imagine the paychecks don’t come in and I don’t have enough money in my account, right,” Pregmon said, “and the mortgage check is already in the mail. We will waive overdraft fees as well.”
That is good for military families, but local shop owners won’t get those loans or back pay once the government reopens as federal workers will.
“You’re not going to go in and order 10 or 20 meals to make up for the lost meals,” McNab said. “You’re probably going to not go back for awhile because you’ve got all these other bills to pay.”
The longer it takes Congress to reach a resolution on the budget, he said, the longer it takes for that lunchtime crowd to return and refuel the local economy.