CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - Political drama in Washington may be to blame for a slow economic recovery in Massachusetts. The debt ceiling, the fiscal cliff, and now a partial government shutdown.
Experts on the economy say this kind of congressional gridlock can send shock waves through Main Street businesses all across America.
Westover Air Reserve Base is a sprawling 2,500 acre base. It's the largest base of it's kind in the country, but now, it's partially shutdown.
Their website is not being updated. Hundreds who work there have been furloughed. They won't be getting their paychecks on time.
People told 22News their frustrated with congress playing what they say are political games at the expense of the men and women serving in our military.
"They go to war for us. Why shouldn't they get paid? What did they have to do with this?" said Hannah Keefe in Springfield.
Fewer people at Westover means less money funneling into nearby business.
Holly Warren has a son in the military. She's also owned the nearby Homestyle Cafe for more than a decade.
"It could definitely hurt any business in this area. Being right outside the base, I'm the first place that they stop and I won't be getting the take out order and then people coming in, so it's definitely going to affect the business," said Warren.
Experts on the economy say that what happens in Washington can have an effect on hiring. With the unemployment rate in Massachusetts now at 7.2%, people in western Massachusetts are left to rely on Congress to do something to help these small businesses.
"They can't pass certain bills. They can't do this, they can't do that. Why do they think they're there?" said Carol Partridge of Springfield.
Warren, told 22News her son works at Westover, but he's considered "essential personnel" and will have to work, for now, without a paycheck.