Local merchants affected by government shutdown, worry it will be worse

by: Essex Porter Updated:

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SEATTLE - With halibut season still underway, the fresh fish is coming in everyday at the Seattle Fish Company in West Seattle.


But they owner has noticed a 20 percent drop in business since the government shutdown took effect.


"Twenty percent's big," said owner Jon Daniels, celebrating his two-year anniversary of the day he bought the shop.


He blames some of the loss on cool rainy weather, but mostly on consumers now nervous about the shutdown.


"It might be a little bit weather," Daniels said, "but a lot of it I think in the last five to eight days has been the government shutdown."


And at the Swinery, a butcher ship a few blocks up California Avenue Southwest, the head chef is also seeing a negative impact from the shutdown.


"Today… at this time it would probably be a little bit busier," said Head Chef Kim Laveille, "so people maybe are afraid to spend some money maybe, I don't know, it's just a little bit more quiet," she said.
Business was better than usual this past weekend, Lavellie said, but her experience is echoing a national trend.


Gallup reports consumer confidence has fallen sharply. It's down 14 points since the shutdown began on the Oct. 1. It's now at its lowest level since the budget crisis in 2011.

Supplies of beef and pork remain plentiful because federal inspectors are still on the job at meat packing plants.


But at Seattle Fish Company, owner Daniels is worried about having enough king crab for the holidays, because the federal observers necessary to open the season on are furlough. 

 

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