Watertown— Last Friday, March 1st was the official day that federal budget cuts went into effect, otherwise known as “sequestration."
The approximate $85 billion in spending cuts are said to have a negative impact, not only on the overall all economy and the average individual, but businesses across the board with varying repercussions to each individual state.
The largest impact that each state will see, will be a decrease in funding for primary and secondary education putting teacher and aide jobs at risk. Education will see a cut, which is said to reduce the amount of students served, along with the amount of schools that will receive funding.
According to National Education Association, 50,000 educators are expected to lose their jobs. Since 2009, more than 300,000 public education jobs have been lost. The Treasury, TSA, and Defense Department are also expected to experience unpaid furloughs within the coming months. According to the non-partisan Congressional Office, the impact of the sequestration is said to impact 750,000 jobs by the end of the year.
“We are already 5 months into the year,” said Regional Director of Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Jefferson Community College (JCC), Eric Constance. “We only got 7 months left of this year, so I am not sure if $85 billion in cuts is accurate, if we are talking about cuts for a calendar year or a longer period of time.” The SBDC at JCC is one of 23 programs within New York State, that receives federal funds matched at the state level.
According to Mr. Constance, small businesses are currently playing a “wait and see game.” Constance explained how federal funds flow into the State University of New York Research Center and then matched with state funds. “These funds are administered to 23 centers through out New York State,” said Mr. Constance, “so all of us can be impacted by the sequestration. But, so far I haven’t gotten word of cuts just yet.”
Mr. Constance believes that since SBDC is federally funded, the program will more than likely experience some sort of cut in funding. However, Constance does not anticipate any layoffs at SBDC. The SBDC at JCC hopes to absorb any federal spending cuts that come their way.