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Some NYC Street Vendors Being to Feel Brunt of Government Shutdown

by Stephanie Colombini
A A
Street vendors prepare for a slow day in Lower Manhattan.

Stephanie Colombini

The absence of government employees at Lower Manhattan's federal buildings is hurting some of the folks who count on their appetites for business.

It's been three days since the federal government shutdown went into effect, and the impact is already trickling down far beyond government employees. 

Abby Boland manages a taco stand called Nixtamelito in Lower Manhattan near City Hall.  She says about three-quarters of their lunch business comes from government workers from surrounding federal buildings.  She's already feeling the sting of their absence. 

“We're going to have to cut down on hours; our hours are going to have to be shorter for the day. Other than that, we're going to be targeting tourists, mostly, because we don't really have a choice at this point."

Boland's only been working there for two months, and while she fears the lost business, Ahmad Noorzad is a little more optimistic. He's owned a breakfast stand across the street for 26 years. His business survived the last government shutdown 17 years ago under the Clinton administration. He says he's losing about half of his normal business, but hopes he'll make it through again.

"We're just going to have to hang in there, you know. There's no 'Plan B' at the moment."

Both vendors say they want to see government employees back at work as soon as possible.

 

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wrap broadcasted 10/03/13

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