As a small business owner, I saw this coming at me, but there was little I could do to prepare for it. The Sequester affects all federal workers regardless of what capacity they may be working in for the federal government and the effects were felt almost immediately, although they are becoming more tangible every day.
I was in the process of looking at several projects before the Sequester which were in the $2 to $5 million range and we had every intention of pursuing them. Unfortunately, the period of time right before the Sequester and right after brought these projects to a sudden halt and now all three projects have been pulled. Those projects still exist, but now they are placed on hold awaiting the financials and budgetary concerns to be taken care of by federal agencies.
Another effect the Sequester will have on federal agencies is they will be forced to furlough employees. The truth is, people now spend the majority of what they earn just to make ends meet. If you tell someone they are going to lose one day out of a week or even one day out of a month from their paychecks, that’s 20% of their earnings and can be pretty painful.
On the way home from work today I heard a story on MPR concerning an airport in Ohio that would be forced to either close its doors or at least cut one or two days from their flight schedule. The last time I looked, people still needed to fly seven days a week, depending on their schedules, so I am quite sure that will put a damper not only on the airport, but on people’s personal schedules as well.
Sustaining a Company during the Sequester
There really is no way of preparing for these kinds of cuts that come as a result of the Sequester. Looking at the big picture, small companies still need to grow in order for our country to grow. Sure, if you’re a Fortune 500 company such as Raytheon, IBM or GE, they are sitting with gobs of money in their coffers, but for the small businesses, such as Frontline, we are the ones feeling the squeeze. The three projects I spoke of were arrived at only after going through 100 projects or so and deciding these would be the best choices for me to pursue. I spent months keeping an eye on these projects and now that they are pulled, this is definitely a loss for my company. I am fortunate, however, because I do have ongoing projects which help keep my light bill paid, electricity on and phones ringing.
If you are a small business owner and would like to discuss this in more detail, I can be reached below in the comments below or by contacting me directly and I’ll be happy to respond to you.