EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

October 1, 2013

Residents, agencies unhappy about potential government shutdown

(Continued)

Benna said all 120 employees are being told to report to work today, no matter what happens.

“It may just be to close things down,” she said. “It depends what direction we are given.”

Benna said 95 percent of the employees would likely be furloughed.

Therrien said he was disappointed the forest could be closing.

“These parks belong to us,” he said. “I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that they are going to be impacted.”

Other impacts could include the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program for low-income seniors.

“There is not going to be an immediate impact on the WIC program, we have some funding that was unspent from last year,” said Dr. Jose Montero, New Hampshire’s Director of Public Health. “We can cover it for several more weeks until we can get the authorization to spend again.”

But the senior food program would take an immediate hit. That’s government commodity food that seniors pick up at distribution centers.

“That program doesn’t have carryover funding; it will end,” Montero said. “We have food already purchased which should help us for about a week.”

Also impacted would be the Head Start pre-kindergarten program for low income families.

“Only 23 of the 1,600 Head Starts in the nation were slated to receive funding for October,” said Kenneth Wolfe, public affairs officer, for the Administration for Children and Families. “None of those are in New Hampshire.”

Brian Bullock, executive vice president at Enterprise Bank, said he thought impacts for commercial loans would be minimal.

“We believe it will be business as usual,” he said. “If anything, there may be delays in (Small Business Administration) loans. If it’s a lengthy shutdown, you may have customers that deal directly with the federal government that need payments. But if it’s just a few days or a week, that won’t be too traumatic.”

The last time the government was shut down was from Dec. 16, 1995, through Jan. 5, 1996.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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