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8 Ways the Government Shutdown is Affecting Small Businesses

8 Ways the Government Shutdown is Affecting Small Businesses

Longer lines at airport security and uncertainty surrounding tax refunds paint the picture of the partial government shutdown, which is now over after 34 days.

The IRS just announced what’s happening on their end during the shutdown. While returns will be accepted on time, there are some limitations. They’ve called back a bit less than half of their workforce to process tax returns.

Here are a few key takeaways from their plan:

  • Returns will be accepted.
  • Refunds will be paid.
  • The IRS website will be operational.
  • No live person assistance available by phone or appointment.
  • No new audits.

You can read the full release here.

Current impacts on small businesses:

1. E-Verify and E-Verify services are offline.

If U.S. employers want to check whether their prospective hires are eligible to work, they can't. With the suspension of E-Verify services, employers are not able to comply with the three-day requirement (Although employers must complete Form I-9 within the required time frame).

2. Small businesses are not receiving federally-guaranteed small business loans.

While participating banks and borrowers can prepare the necessary documentation, the Small Business Administration (SBA) cannot review and complete the application process. So, the loan process may be started but the loans cannot be distributed until the SBA re-opens.

3. SBA certifications are not being processed.

Companies cannot get SBA certification, for example, as a woman-owned business, and they also cannot find out the status of a pending application. Small businesses use certifications in bidding for government and private contracts in addition to marketing.

4. The Department of Agriculture has a freeze on certain types of government-backed loans, subsidy payments and other federal services for farmers.

The Department of Agriculture has had to extend the deadline for farmers to apply for special subsidies to offset the effects of Chinese tariffs.

5. Craft beer breweries are unable to get approval for new equipment or for labels on new lines of beer.

That’s because the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is currently shut down.

6. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has stopped reviewing and approving filings for initial public offerings.

Approval for pending company mergers are also being delayed because the SEC isn't fully staffed.

7. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stopped accepting approval applications for new drugs.

This is hampering the rollout of new medications.

8. Government contractors working for the government won’t be paid for their work until after the shutdown ends.

In some cases, contractors are not authorized to do government-related work during the shutdown.

PrimePay will continue to monitor the impact to small business owners and provide updates as needed.