Small-business owner devastated by shutdown: ‘You feel ashamed’

WASHINGTON — A small-business owner in Montgomery County said that he’s losing $10,000 a month as a result of the partial government shutdown.

“What people perhaps don’t realize is what we lose, we don’t get back. There’s no back pay; there’s no compensation. We’re pretty much on our own,” one consultant, Marc, said.

His one-man-business provides corporate training for several government organizations, but most of the people he trains are federal workers who have now been furloughed.

“I had the entire government fiscal year booked (through June), which is great for someone like myself to book that many trainings in advance … and so everything has been canceled through February,” Marc said.

If the shutdown continues into February, training sessions for March will be canceled too.

Marc lives in the North Potomac area. His wife still works full time, and he is trying to ramp up his part-time job as a fitness instructor. “I’ve told my supervisor there … please give me any and every class you can throw my way. Rather than just hold my head down, I just started trying to find other avenues,” he said.

Of course bills eventually have to be paid, and Marc said he felt fortunate that he had “a little cushion.” But he’s been forced to call creditors.

“The good news is, and as you’ve been reporting, so many creditors right now are understanding,” he said. “So I’ve had a month extension here, a month extension (there) to where they won’t report any kind of late payment. But what’s truly embarrassing for people like myself is we’ve never had to do such things. It’s never been an issue of having to call a creditor and for those who’ve never done that, it feels horrible. You feel ashamed in a sense. And that’s the part that I wish that those who could influence reopening the government would truly understand.”

Marc said it’s time for the shutdown standoff to end.

“I’m not blaming one side or the other. Initially I was, but now I just want them to find a solution. Anything. Compromise. Why is that so hard?” he asked.

“I do honestly feel like our government is in the hands of children right now. That’s what it feels like to me. It truly does,” Marc added.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter and anchor at WTOP.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up