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Shutdown doesn't hurt us? That's bull

October 4, 2013: 3:51 PM ET

Economists may say the government shutdown is having only a slight impact on the economy, but for thousands of people, the closure means a real loss of jobs, income and security.

Military families

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Lawmakers patted themselves on the back for ensuring the military would be paid on time during the shutdown. But they forgot a lot of loose ends. Stephanie Smith, whose husband Paul is in the Marines, counts on subsidized grocery stores, childcare, medical programs and after school activities to help support their family. Those are all now either closed or cut back.

Preschool

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Over 5,000 kids from low income families are closed out of their Head Start programs, including Meanie Rhodes' son Malachi. After being unemployed for nearly a year, Rhodes just got a job as a school bus driver. She says she may now have to give that up to stay home and take care of her son.

Federal workers

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There are about 800,000 federal employees on furlough without pay right now. Linda Williams, 56, a furloughed federal employee and president of the Chicago chapter of the National Treasury Employees Union, is worried about her rent, care for her 87-year-old mother and her student loan payments of $500 a month. If the shutdown lasts too long, "It's going to mean eviction for me personally," she said.

Government contractors

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John Skoog owns a roofing company in Newport, Wash. He was one step away from having his firm certified as a government vendor when the process came to a standstill on Tuesday. "I don't know what to do now," said Skoog, who has a pitch meeting scheduled with the Army Corp of Engineers on Oct. 22. "I can meet with them, but they won't consider my company if I'm not fully certified." Skoog said he has no revenue coming in right now because he was confident in the government contracts.

Hotel proprietors

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Jeff Smith's Jonathan Creek Inn sits 15 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park --  which is now closed. Smith said bookings are down over 25% during this normally busy time of year.

Tourism operators

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Don Oblak's Utah rafting business relies on its proximity to Archers and Canyonlands national parks for customers. If the parks don't open by the end of the month, Oblak said it could cost him $40,000, and early termination for his 25 seasonal employees.

Thanks, Congress.

-- Blake Ellis, Parija Kavilanz and Jennifer Liberto contributed to this report

About This Author
Steve Hargreaves
Steve Hargreaves
Senior Writer, CNNMoney

Steve Hargreaves is a senior writer covering economic, energy and environmental issues at CNNMoney. Previously, he worked out of Istanbul and Bangkok, and has been published in the Village Voice and the Australian Financial Review. He tweets at @HargreavesCNN

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