How government shutdown would hurt Americans
A government shutdown could sink Cami Stewart's dream of building a restaurant on this land in Justin, Texas.
April 8th, 2011
03:44 PM ET

How government shutdown would hurt Americans

Cami Stewart's dream of becoming the "Taco Queen" of Justin, Texas, could crumble if the federal government shuts down.

Stewart has spent 16 months developing a business plan and preparing paperwork for a million-dollar loan that needs approval from the Small Business Administration. She's building a Taco Mayo restaurant, a small, regional fast-food chain, from the ground up on a small parcel of undeveloped land.

If there's a shutdown, the SBA would suspend loan approvals, threatening Stewart's plan.

"I've been working and doing a lot of research trying to figure this out," she said.

Even a short shutdown could spoil Stewart's first efforts. She has until the end of April to close the real estate deal. She said other developers are also interested in the land and would swoop in and buy it if her loan doesn't come through in time.

"Every day matters. It's going to be hard for us to close by the end of the month," she said. "If the government shuts down, then that will delay us further and we lose our land contract then - you know, pretty much starting over."

Stewart said other pieces of land in Justin are much more expensive and would need thousands of dollars of extra work to get set up for a restaurant, and those expenses weren't part of her business plan.

Share your shutdown worries

Stewart spent 15 years working in the corporate world for Fidelity Investments. She decided to take a chance on going out on her own because she's a single mother of a 5-year-old girl with Down syndrome. She said she hopes becoming an entrepreneur will help her take better care of her daughter's needs.

"I just want the ability to be able to take my daughter to the specialists that she needs," Stewart said. "I don't mind working a lot of hours, but I just need that flexibility."

The threat of a government shutdown puts thousands of small businesses across the country in limbo. Some loans, such as Stewart's, would help fund start-up businesses. Some SBA loans help existing small businesses refinance debt. The SBA approves about $400 million in loans every week, according to an agency spokesman.

Ten ways a shutdown could ruin your day

To receive SBA loans, small businesses must get approval from bank lenders and the SBA. The SBA essentially guarantees those loans for the banks lending the money.

If there is a shutdown, most banks will continue to process these loans, but the SBA won't be around to sign off on them. The only SBA loans that would still be funded are part of the disaster loan program.

Several banking officials said small business loans would still be forwarded to the SBA but would then just sit in a line and would be processed in the order they were received after the government starts up again.

Ten ways a shutdown could make your day

A spokesman said agency officials are confident an agreement will be reached before the midnight Friday deadline. Nevertheless, the agency "is committed to providing detailed guidance to small businesses, entrepreneurs, lenders and our partners in the coming days if a lapse in funding looks likely," he said.

Federal employees nervously watch the clock

Stewart can only sit and watch the political theatrics and fighting over the budget in Washington from the grassy field in Justin where she hopes to start her first business.

When she's asked what she thinks of the politicians fighting over the budget, Stewart only smiles and says, "Isn't politics interesting?"

She's been on long-term disability and hasn't worked in three years, but that money has run out and she no longer has a steady income. A government shutdown wasn't part of the plan.

"I am worried. I need to start working," she said.

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Filed under: Politics • Texas
soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. Demeatrice


    April 8, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |

      nobody from either party dares to touch the pentagon. wars expand and never end, more military bases get built, more money for other countries in the form of weapons,NASA and their own health care,pension and paycheck.

      where was the gop when Rumsfeld says $2.3 TRILLION are Missing from Pentagon on September 10th 2001?

      and where was the gop when

      U.S. lost track of $12 billion in Iraq funds

      According to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report published in October 2007, the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could cost taxpayers a total of $2.4 trillion dollars by 2017 when counting the huge interest costs because combat is being financed with borrowed money. The CBO estimated that of the $2.4 trillion long-term price tag for the war, about $1.9 trillion of that would be spent on Iraq, or $6,300 per U.S. citizen

      A recent study indicated that the long term health care costs for wounded Iraq war veterans could range from $350 billion to $700 billion

      or Bush drug plan?

      bush prescription medicare Drug Benefit May Cost $1.2 Trillion

      or your friend the oil company?

      Oil and Gas Tax Breaks: $2.4 billion a year

      come on gop what about GE?

      So not only did GE, the highly-profitable recipient of federal contracts and bailout money, not pay taxes, we paid them $3.2 billion

      Welfare Tab for Children of Illegal Immigrants Estimated
      cost of illegal immigration stands at about $113 billion a year

      The transparency changes are far from perfect. The fiscal year 2010 Defense Appropriations Act contained 35 anonymous projects worth $6 billion, or 59 percent of the total pork in the bill. Out of the 9,129 projects in the 2010 Congressional Pig Book there were 9,048 requested projects worth $10 billion and 81 anonymous projects worth $6.5 billion.

      April 8, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • DKCM (Retired)

      Yes, you are correct you were paid for 8 days. The 1-8 of April. Now Congress must give DOD funds before or on 12 April in order for DFAS to pay you the rest on TIME on PAYDAY ...15 April.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • RLM

      Your absolutely right!!! We are a military family too, They want to report about a women who wants to open a taco business, what about the millions of families the are wondering how there going to pay there bills and feed there children if this lasts for any length of time, Or the men and women who are fighting overseas that are worrying about the families that are at home, dont they have enough to worry about, And to see that the president will still get paid while we have senators willing to donate the checks back or to charities, We also received the the 1/2 pay on the 15th

      April 8, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jenn

    Congress still gets paid! They could care less about our soldiers and their families! It will always be about our government and their needs! What about the American people? There was no change for the good in this term of presidency! We need a leader, not empty promises!

    April 8, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Carine

    Demeatrice if that happened to you I guess that mean we will be shut down, wow, that's sad. I am a Federal Employee and that's not good news.

    April 8, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • DKCM (Retired)

      Most civilians will be paid through 8 APril. That works out to be an eighty hour check paid on 15 april. However, if that civilian works from tues thru Saturday...then that person would be paid 72 hours. We cannot pay past the 8th of April.

      April 8, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Linda

    How does she get approved for a loan in the first place if she hasn't shown steady income for over 3 yrs. and has no collateral for this restaurant plan?

    April 8, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Ok, if it's taken her 16 months to write a business plan for a "chain" of taco restaurants, I'm not too sure that she should receive funding. Perhaps CNN could have picked a better example?

      April 8, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • libprovider

      I was wondering that myself particularly since 4/5 restaurants fail in the first year.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • SFC Mike

      Given the way SBA guarantees work, she'd almost certainly have to have significant collateral, contribute her own equity, etc., however, without the SBA guarantee, banks may simply not lend.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just saying.....

      there sure seems to be something a bit 'fishy' with this lady and how a shutdown will ruin her new business.

      April 8, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. brad

    I'm afraid they get full pay...not half pay...sitting in a desk is a lot more stressful than risking ur life it seems

    April 8, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. mike

    Our soldiers risk their lives for our country, and back at home their families have to worry about food and a roof over their heads! Where is the justice in that? They have enough to worry about! Does our congress care about that? What about the economy? A govt shutdown could mean loss of small businesses who rely on loans to keep business going! Congress will still get their checks! How about the government looking into cutting their own expenses instead of taking from the American people!

    April 8, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jess

      Maybe the families at home, not risking their lives, should get jobs? Why should our government be supporting them in the first place?

      April 8, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roy

      Jess said, "Maybe the families at home, not risking their lives, should get jobs? Why should our government be supporting them in the first place?"

      I say, the government should support those they sent into harms way and the families which depend on them. Of course, Jess would not realize that most military families are supported by two incomes. They are forced to work, because military pay isn't enough.

      April 8, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • HistoryGeek

      A lot of military wives work, there isn't enough money otherwise. It's been that way a long time. I was raised in the military and my Mother always worked, I'm 51 now. Getting your monthly family income cut in half hurts no matter who it is, our military families are already sacrificing.

      April 8, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. tricy

    god luv everyone in this world , lord help us all come together and ebolish this greed and hatered.. Some of us understand this is the begining of a end to come ... Bless us all.

    April 8, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • joey

      Please learn how to spell.

      April 8, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bella

      Tricy you hit the nail on the the Bible says "in the last days what is good will be considered bad and what is bad will be considered good". When Abortion is considered a "social issue" that is BAD, abortion is MURDER, & the "man in charge" BoooBama does NOT want to back down. Obama is a liar, he claims that he is a christian YET is a huge supporter of MURDER he probably is NOT even American because as you can see he prefers to pay Planned Parenthood over our Military...I'm not surprised this wanna be president REFUSED to salute the AMERICAN FLAG & BTW ....I WANT TO SEE THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE NOW or get OUT of the White House

      April 8, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lubos

    Greed will inprison us all. This isn't just one person's fault. Its that whole government democrats and republicans. They need to quit playing the blaming game and get work done. They basicily get paid 175,000+ to blame eachother for issues in this country.

    April 8, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      A democracy can't succeed once the people realize they can vote themselves money.

      April 8, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. charles a nicol

    all this shout down thing is all about crippling the obama gov. and all about black man being president.

    April 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • UGH!!!

      Your an idiot!

      April 8, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bella

      BoooooBama is also half white and that half SUCKS just as much as the black side

      April 8, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. shonda

    is unemployment checks going to stop if the government shuts down?

    April 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Silly

      of course they will. Go get a job like the rest of us, bum. Quit living off of other people's work.

      April 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      Our unemployment, i think, is managed by the state... Broke as we are, i think the state's still open.

      April 8, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mike in Oki-ville

    Like everybody said when you elected him in, "Oh, he's just like Regan!" And just to prove it, there will be a government shut-down for about 36-72 hours (just like during the Regan, Bush and Carter administrations) Tricky never allowed it to occur nor did Nixon; interesting how the openly criminal Presidents (Clinton & Nixon) always took great care in taking care of number one.

    April 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • UGH!!!

      Thumbs UP!!!!

      April 8, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. charles a nicol

    the socalled Republicans only love themself they don`t love they citizens all is about power.

    April 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • gailp1967

      I AGREE

      April 8, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Citizen/Tax Payer

    Well, time for tax payer revolt. If the IRS is closed and 4/15 is dead line for our money, I vote that no one send in any money to a government that mis-manages our money, decade in and out. I'd rather send my money directly to our troops than via the US Treasury. Besides if the IRS is closed our tax money sits gathering dust.

    Line in sand, why do so few hold the rest of America hostage to their lousy "cliques", when are they going to understand it's not us vs. them mentality. So annoyed.

    April 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jamie

      well i dont think they should cut disability people we are going to have more homeless and hungry people and aot of them are going to be stilling and there you go more problems so i think they should cut congress about 100k they will see we will have more money they dont know what they are doing to the poor people

      April 8, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just saying.....

      how can someone so ignorant know how to post?

      IRS filing date is April 18.

      IRS will be open for the receipt and processing of electronic returns and electronic refunds will be issued.

      April 8, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joey

    To charles a nicol:
    It's not about racism...and the president.
    It's about money. Is that related to racism?

    April 8, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. charles a nicol

    pls. don`t be despair Americans the Demos. love you and the Lord.

    April 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
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