Local businesses happy to see furlough days cut

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Military civilian workers can breathe a little easier now that their furlough days have been cut back. Businesses here on the Gulf Coast say they felt the effects of the pay cuts as well.

The furlough days equaled a 20 percent pay cut for thousands of South Mississippi military families.

Many business owners near Keesler Air Force Base, say they were excited to hear that the furlough days had been cut back, because their businesses were also impacted from the cuts.

When people take a pay cut, businesses usually feel the effects. Shops near Keesler Air Force Base were in the direct line of fire when the military civilian employee furloughs began in early July.

David Dickensauge and Lorraine Erwin are both civilian employees on the base. They were relieved when they heard the furloughs were being cut back.

"If I have a decrease in my pay, then other people get a decrease in their pay also. Because then I can't go out and spend money so it affects everybody," said Lorraine Erwin.

David Dickensauge says like many others, he had to sacrifice little things to make ends meet.

While everyone is happy furlough days have been cut back, some business owners say they felt the effects. Darlene Gnuschke manages a restaurant close to Keesler. She has seen a real decrease in her lunch crowd, and some have even made her aware of their tighter budget.

"Some people will joke because we have the seven inch and the twelve inch sandwiches. They will be going for the seven inch, because they're pinching their pennies a little bit tighter," said Gnuschke.

Robyn Lamey with Luckie's furniture says they didn't notice much of a difference in business.

"Fortunately it was short lived, and it's over so I think that we can move on the rest of the year and it hasn't affected anyone as much as we thought it would," said Lamey.

Defense officials say they cut those furlough days, because the Pentagon found enough savings in the current fiscal year budget.

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