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Federal Workers In Md. React To Government Shutdown

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AP Photo/Protests

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Meghan McCorkell 370x278 Meghan McCorkell
Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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WASHINGTON (WJZ) — Thousands of workers here in Maryland could be impacted by a government shutdown.

Meghan McCorkell has more on what Marylanders could feel, from the suburbs of Washington to a small town.

Approximately 90,000 federal workers live here in Maryland, but the shutdown could impact far more than that.

From Maryland workers to federal contractors, historic monuments and businesses, a government shutdown would have far-reaching effects across the state.

“I just can’t even tell you the impact it’s going to have,” said Dawn Minor, a federal employee.

Minor is one of hundreds who face an indefinite furlough at the Aberdeen Proving Ground.

“Could be a couple weeks and that would really put me in a bind,” Minor said.

Paychecks from Uncle Sam aren’t the only ones that will take a hit.  Thousands of federal contractors in Maryland are also bracing for a shutdown.

“They don’t know what to plan for, whether it’s gonna last a day,” said Tamera Rush.

Rush, who is with defense contracting company STG in Aberdeen, knows at least 100 of their employees will have to dip into their vacation time to get paid.

“And there’s a risk to the business, therefore we have to be careful.  There’s not a guarantee if you tell employees they may not get paid for a couple weeks they may look for other jobs which could hurt our retention and longer term business,” said Rush.

And in the town of Aberdeen itself, restaurants and retailers depend on Proving Ground employees for their own financial survival.

“If they’re not making money, we’re not making money,” said Rick McCall, Gino’s general manager.

The Social Security Administration, based in Woodlawn, would be forced to furlough 18,000 employees nationally.

“I hope it’s not like this. It makes me cry,” said Flory Pop.

Pop and her husband own City View Bar and Grill. Eighty percent of their business comes from Social Security employees and they are already feeling the effects.

“You can see the place tonight is empty because people are afraid to spend money if the government closes,” said Napoleon Zaharopoulos.

They’re praying all of this ends soon so they can keep their doors open.

Governor Martin O’Malley estimates Maryland could lose $5 million in revenue and $15 million in economic activity each day of the shutdown.

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