Small businesses warn crisis could dampen holiday sales

The businesses join a broad swath of groups from the National Retail Federation to the Chamber of Commerce in pressing Congress and the White House to end the stalemate that is weighing on already sluggish economic growth. 

Economists are estimating that the shutdown and threat of default could cut deep into economic growth in the final three months of the year. 

"The shutdown diminishes my customers’ confidence and creates a huge amount of uncertainty, which wreaks havoc on my bottom line," the letter says. 

"Slackening sales now has serious consequences on my profits for the rest of the fiscal year.”

The letter campaign grew out of meetings with policymakers and the Small Business Majority’s 15-member Network Council that, even in August, pointed to the possibility of a government shutdown with the council saying that the uncertainty was "too much to take."

"It's not a game to me. The ongoing government shutdown and threat of not paying our debts scares my customers, and when they’re scared, they don’t go shopping," said Mike Brey, owner of Hobby Works in Fairfax, Va., and a member of Small Business Majority’s Network Council. 

"I can’t grow my business and put more people to work if I don’t have customers. Congress needs to start working together for the good of our economy instead of playing politics. Doing otherwise puts my business and many others in jeopardy."