Looming Government Shutdown, Immediate impact on tourism - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Looming Government Shutdown, Immediate impact on tourism

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A federal government shutdown would have an impact on the commonwealth and some of its citizens.

The impact depends on how long the potential shutdown lasts. The most immediate effect would be found in the tourism industry.

All 394 national parks, including Petersburg National Battlefield and Richmond National Battlefield would shutdown if congress doesn't strike a deal on a budget by midnight, Friday.

The closure of National Parks in the commonwealth could be a brutal blow for tourism -- especially since the 150th commemoration of the Civil War is approaching.

"For tourism sake we hope the National Parks don't shutdown and if they do that it would be for a short period of time," said Richard Lewis, Spokesperson for the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

If a shutdown happens and it extends into next week some federal government employees would be furloughed -- that will lead to an increase work for employees at the state employment commission.

"There are 171,000 federal government employees in Virginia so we'd have that many claims to take care of," said Joyce Fogg, Spokesperson for the Virginia Employment Commission.

The distribution of Social Security and Medicare would not be impacted, nor would the distribution of unemployment payments. Those in the military could see a delay in pay.

"There are certain individuals who will be impacted," said Political Science Professor, Dan Palazzolo.

The vast majority of Virginians will not see an impact if a government shutdown occurs.

"In the near term I think it's more important for people to take a deep breath and realize the world will not come to an end. For the average person this shutdown won't mean anything," said Palazzolo.

The Federal Reserve, which has an office in Richmond, would not be affected by a shutdown.

In a statement Governor Bob McDonnel says, "All critical state functions will continue irrespective of any federal shutdown."

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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