Sequester Defense Cuts May Effect Local Economy

By: Jessica Cunnington Email
By: Jessica Cunnington Email

March 1, 2013

Time is up and there was no deal made in Washington between President Obama and Congress. With a large percentage of the cuts to effect the defense department, Central Virginia may feel those cuts in time.

Kathy DeGraff is the manager at Forest Lakes Cleaners and says business is going well. What she loves is the location of her store. It's right off of Timberwood Blvd. on Route 29 which she says attracts many military and other defense employees as her customers.

Having the Rivanna Station up the road has been a positive for her but it may soon become negative.

"If they cut back on how many people they have here, that will effect our customers because we do have a lot people come with the military here," DeGraff said.

Eighty-five billion dollars in automatic federal budget cuts will go into effect as a result of no deal made by President Obama and Congress. A big part of that money could come down hard on defense jobs which we have a lot of here in Central Virginia.

"It's a significant portion of our local economy, not just the contractors and their day to day salaries, but the restaurants, the dry cleaning, Target, Timberwood Grill, things like that that require people to have not only disposable incomes but any income at all," Jim Duncan, a realtor at Nest Realty in Charlottesville says.

The National Ground Intelligence Center in Albemarle County gave CBS19 this statement about sequestration:

"Many details concerning intelligence activities are not releasable as a matter of protecting personnel and national security. If sequestration or similar budget cuts occur, we will continue to work within the guidance provided to identify areas of efficiencies and cost savings. NGIC's leadership is doing everything within their capability to minimize the impact of any potential furlough on our employees and those customers who rely on us every day."

While DeGraff at Forest Lakes Cleaners won't see a change in business tomorrow, if furlough notices do go out to defense employees in the next month, the local economy could see some effects.

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