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Government Shutdown Collateral Damage

WEST BRANCH, IA (CBS2/FOX28) The Government Shutdown is now affecting incomes for individuals who dont have government jobs and havent even been furloughed. West Branch is home to the Herbert Hoover Museum. Just around the corner is a coffee shop that is running cold because the museum is closed for business.

On Monday last week, the Herbert Hoover Museum was open. Then, on Tuesday, it wasnt.

"Our business that first day, that Tuesday, was down 75%, said Jonathan Blundall, who owns Reids Beans Coffee Shoppe Caf with his wife Laura Rierson.

Because of the Government Shutdown, the crowds dont come to the Herbert Hoover Museum and they dont visit the local businesses in West Branch.

"Our primary source of income is the groups the busloads of tourists and children that come from schools, said Rierson.

Over the past week, the couple says they did half the business they would have if the museum was open. Thats when they became worried and called Congressman Dave Loebsack.

"I just said, 'What is the deal? What's Dave Loebsack thinking about this? asked Rierson.

So he came out to pay them a visit.

"People should be impatient, said Representative Loebsack. You know, if I were not in Congress, I would be doing exactly what people are doing and calling my office and telling me, 'this is unacceptable."

"And it's defeating because there are real-world repercussions to these kinds of acts, said Blundall.

One of the political repercussions that political gridlock could erode public faith in the political system.

"When we get to a point where there's a large segment of the American population that questions the legitimacy of the institutions and the system itself, then we're in big trouble, and that's what I fear more than anything else, said Representative Loebsack.

The caf owners say two large parties scheduled to be held at the caf cancelled because the museum was closed. They say it not only cost them business now, but the chance for some additional business in the future as well.

 
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