How the Fed Shut Down is Affecting Economic Development Programs

The IEDC has a good rundown of how federal economic-development-related agencies and programs have been affected by the latest Tea Partyclosed stunt:

• The Economic Development Administration is offline, which means all of EDA’s vital grant work and work in disaster recovery has come to a stop.

• The SelectUSA Investment Summit is still on and two staffers remain working on it as of this morning, but the rest of the SelectUSA team have been furloughed; the SelectUSA team in London for an investment conference had to drop-out at the last minute because of the shutdown.

• The Small Business Administration’s loan programs, 504’s and 7a’s, are no longer being processed or funds distributed, effectively locking-up vitally important small business capital.

• The Nation’s parks and federal attractions are closed; this might not seem like a big deal, but consider that in 2010 tourism had an economic impact of $1.8 trillion.

• Federal Housing Administration mortgage loans, which impact 30% of home sales, are going unprocessed during the shutdown, having an adverse effect on the still-recovering housing industry.

• The Department of Transportation’s Federal Transportation Administration may soon run out of money to service billions in debt associated with municipal bonds issued to fund transportation projects throughout the country; Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles (Garvees) will need further appropriations in as little as a few weeks before defaulting and wreaking havoc on credit ratings at the local, state, and federal level.

There are many less tangible impacts on the economy that will only become clearer over time, but we can be certain that with each passing day the full manifestation of the impact will become worse and worse. The federal government is an economic force that contributes trillions of dollars to the national (and international) economy. The government must reopen soon in order to avoid a greater shock to the economy that could potentially drive it back into recession.

One can only hope that the adults will prevail in Washington.

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