LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The government shutdown is now in its second week and is taking its toll on so many people.
"When Candy and I bought this place, we specifically remember looking at that Federal building and thinking, we know it's got to be a pretty good location because the federal government's not going anywhere. Oooopps! They did," Dough and Candy Wilkerson explained.
They laugh to keep from crying. The Wilkersons are the owners of Capitol Smokehouse and Grill. Located just a block and a half away from the federal building and blocks away from the capitol, they said their business has been hit drastically. Last week's sales were down a whopping 40 percent.
"It's a trickle down. If they're not here to spend money for lunch, then we're not here to take the money much longer," Candy explained.
They are not the only restaurant feeling the pain from the furloughs.
"At 5:00, we're always busy or we've got a big line through the door. Now it's kind of empty," added Justin Ortuno, manager at Flying Fish.
The Flying Fish in downtown Little Rock is now having to make a few adjustments to their staff until sales go back up.
"We've cut employees especially at lunch time because it's dead," he said.
Many of the patrons who are federal and state employees out of work will likely get back pay. As for these restaurant owners, they are faced with a different reality.
"Us and the dry cleaner down the street, and the mechanic a few blocks down, who have missed these lunches, oil changes and shirt laundry won't get that back." Doug Wilkerson said.
In the meantime, as the clock continues to tick, these business owners remain hopeful that a change will soon come.
"We just have to have faith that it will come back. We believe it's going to get better. We just need it to be really soon. Like yesterday."