Congressman David Loebsack sat with the co-owners of a West Branch coffee shop over some coffee to hear how the government shutdown is affecting their lives.
Sunday, October 6, 2013 marked day six of the government shutdown, and the consequences were being felt by more than federal employees.
Reid’s Beans Cafe and Coffee Shop has seen a 50-percent decrease in business since the shutdown.
Jonathan Blundall and Laura Rierson are husband and wife and co-owners of Reid’s Beans Cafe and Coffee. They are feeling the trickle down effect of the government shutdown.
“This week it’s been absent, there is no reason to come here,” said Blundall.
Reid’s Beans relies on tourists for the majority of their business. Tourists that usually visit the historic Herbert Hoover Library and Museum are being turned away because the shutdown has closed the museum.
“There were two parties last week that canceled big parties. so that’s lost revenue for me,” Blundall said.
So Laura Rierson made some phone calls to make her voice heard.
“I just said what is the deal, what does Congressman Loebsack think of this.”
A few days later, Congressman David Lobesack showed up.
They discussed the issue of the government shutdown and how it’s affects go far past federal employees. The small town of West Branch rely on tourists passing through to keep business alive. Without tourists, there is no business.
“They are directly influencing and effecting the people they say they are fighting for,” Rierson told Congressman Loebsack.
Congressman Loebsack gave them his word that he will pass their story along in Washington, but now all they can do is wait and hope.
“I know what we as citizens can do and that’s raise our voices and stand up,” said Blundall.