Millington Businesses Still Suffering from Shutdown

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(Millington) Now that the partial government shutdown is over, 1,600 people are back to work at the Navy base in Millington.

It’s not just good news for them but for the businesses that rely on them in the area, but some say the damage has already been done.

At the Old Timer's Restaurant in Millington, the owner could not be more happy the federal government is now back open.

During shutdown the owner says he took a loss and he will not be receiving any back pay.

After sixteen days of questions, federal workers like Arlene Geer got the news they will get paid for all those days were told to stay home, "It's been difficult trying to budget my finances."

"They got the paid vacation but all the merchants are not getting that," said Joseph Marcello, owner of Old Timer's.

It's the business owners who relied on them that are having to swallow the loss.

“Actually, we did not come out to eat very often,” said Geer.

“Our revenue, there's no way you can get it back,” said Marcello. “It's gone.”

Marcello saw its lunchtime crowd go down 30 percent while people at the nearby Navy base were furloughed.

“You don’t think about that, you know. They took a hit,” said Geer.

Down the road at Martin Auto Sales, Tommy Martin says he didn’t sell a single car during the entire shutdown, “Very depressing. Is the slowest two weeks. I have had and I've been in business for 22 years.”

Martin says it wasn't just the government on the verge of default.

“Do you get back pay?” asked Reporter Sabrina Hall.

“No,” said Martin.  “I do not.”

So, while Millington is now back in business with the Naval base 100 percent staffed, business owners hope the once-furloughed workers "share" the good news.

“I hope they come spend it,” laughed Marcello. “That's good for them. They need it and they deserve it.”

Martin says he sold his first car in two weeks Thursday.

“Did you shake their hand or kiss them on the cheek?” asked Hall.

“Almost,” laughed Martin. “Almost.”