Businesses on Redstone Arsenal are hurting now that their customer base hasn’t been around in four weeks.
Food truck owners say business is down 30 percent from where it should be, all because of the partial government shutdown. One business owner says he usually gets 80 or so customers, but on Friday he could count the number of customers he had on one hand.
“The cemetery has more people than us,” said Joe Carlucci, owner of Joe’s World Famous Pizza.
Small business owners are feeling the hole in their profits, losing money by the thousands.
“How do we survive?” Carlucci asked. “Because if we’re giving discounts on food but we’re not buying food at discount and we’re not even doing a third of the business, how do we make it?”
“You said that last year 50 percent of your business came from right here?” WZDX News asked Austin Johnson, owner of The Steakhouse Mobile.
“Yeah closer to 60,” Johnson answered.
Owners say they’re having to find extra gigs and cut employee hours. Then there’s the cost of having a business on wheels…
“I live 35 miles away,” Johnson began. “So thinking about 70-mile round-trip and not knowing if we’re gonna make good. So we really have to weigh our options then.”
“What about all the food trucks? What about the restaurants?” said Carlucci. “This is just bigger than just federal people not getting paid because when this goes back, some of us trucks, we’re gonna try to make it but you don’t know because we have bills.”
Business is usually a little lower in the winter, but on a day like this it should’ve been good.. if the government hadn’t closed their customer base.
“We all came out today, talked, we said, ‘You know it’s great, it’s gonna be a great day. It’s 60 degrees in the middle of January,” Carlucci said. “Then you’re leaving going, ‘What are we doing? What are we gonna do?”
He believes they should be compensated by the federal government.