Shutdown affects more people than government workers

Ogden businesses, from chain restaurants to ma-and-pa shops, are feeling the effects of the government shutdown. For example, many of the downtown eateries lost their frequent foot traffic from the many IRS buildings in the area.

“Once the government shut down, it really cut down our lunch rush,” said Nichole Munford, an employee at Lucky Slice Pizza. “Our main lunch crowd is people from the IRS . . . but not even our regulars came in during the shutdown.”

The shutdown also had an effect on the contractors who worked on Hill Air Force Base. Rio Vista Management, a small-business government contractor, works across the nation on various government installations. Adam Roberts, a Weber State University alumnus and contract manager for Rio Vista Management, said the fallout from the government shutdown has been widely felt in his line of work.

Many people who worked on Hill Air Force Base were put out of work by the shutdown and had to sit tight while their jobs were put on hold due to stipulations from the government.

“We received stop-work orders on three of our projects from three different government agencies, and that means no cash flow for the duration of the shutdown for Rio Vista and its subcontractors working on those projects,” Roberts said.

For many already living paycheck to paycheck, having their only source of income cease has made life difficult.

“It’s hard enough to keep cash flows consistent in the construction industry, and the shutdown really complicated that,” Roberts said.

The shutdown didn’t only affect people in the work force. It also affected people’s plans to visit the recreational venues Utah has to offer. Utah officials opened up a few national parks using state funding so the parks could still be enjoyed.

Some hunters were unable to participate in the migratory waterfowl hunt, which opened on Oct. 5, when the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge and the Ouray National Wildlife Refuge closed.

However, those who flocked to local swampland and the marshlands around the Great Salt Lake, such as WSU sales major Scott DeYoung, were still able to get out and enjoy hunting on opening day.

Ducks Unlimited has ranked the Great Salt Lake wetland area eighth in the nation among the best places to chase waterfowl. The shutdown forced hunters who would normally hunt at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge to the local spots, such as the Harold S. Crane Waterfowl Management Area or Ogden Bay, causing safety issues among hunters and stress on the birds.

“The opener of the 2013 waterfowl season was the most dismal opener since I can remember,” DeYoung said. “Due to the fact that Bear River Bird Refuge was closed because of the government shutdown, it forced hunters to hunt in two locations rather than three.”

The government now reopened, local businesses, restaurants, companies and people can likely look forward to things getting back to normal.