Window Film Companies Taking Hits as Government Shutdown Enters Third WeekOctober 16th, 2013 by Editor
While the effect felt by many at the start of the government shutdown has appeared minimal, as it goes into continuing weeks, small businesses can expect to receive several hard blows. For window film companies, it will appear in the form of stagnant small business loan applications and postponed government projects.
“For small businesses, the shutdown means that SBA loan applications cannot be approved, and small businesses cannot receive help exporting their goods to others countries,” according to a statement from the White House. “Many small businesses are struggling with how to take care of their employees as they see projects postponed and contracts dry up.”
This decrease in lending and spending could spell trouble for window film businesses that are already preparing to enter the slower season. As the number of seasonal consumer projects decline, major commercial work, including government projects, could provide stability for window film companies.
“The week before the shutdown we were setting sales records for this time of the year; even asking ourselves ‘where is all this business coming from?’ The very next week—the week of the government shutdown—phones stopped ringing and business has crawled to a snail’s pace and continues today,” says Keith Garwood, founder and president of Raleigh, N.C.-based All Pro Window Films.
“Currently there are companies going without compensation for jobs, making some tighten their belts a bit,” adds Derreck Miller, owner and operator for Northeast Window Protection in Stroudsburg, Pa. “In the long run, I see it throwing a curveball to any company involved in government procurement.”
“Right now we don’t have any direct government projects, so we aren’t delayed on that work, but we do have some FEMA projects, so down the road depending on how much longer this lasts we could see an impact,” says Chris Weinhardt, CEO of Houston-based Enpro Group. “There also are some bills in the House for projects that will include window film that would be beneficial for the industry, so sitting on those could also be of concern.
“If window film companies are waiting on SBA loan documentation, that will definitely throw a wrench in it the longer the government stays out, so from that angle, for window film companies that are waiting and pending approval for SBA loans, this could be devastating,” he adds.
“I’ve seen it more from the sequester than from the shutdown,” says Scott Haddock, president and CEO of Easton, Md.-based GlassLock. “Sequestration really affected a lot of people in the security industry. The shutdown is just the fallout from that. I’ve had contracts that are basically on hold or cancelled—one or the other … Most of the funding that falls under sequestration is really based on security and the Department of Defense.
“We expect it,” he adds. “Washington will get its act together and the funding will start moving; we just don’t know when. You can usually see the end of a downturn. On this one it’s kind of hard to tell.”
Top 10 Hardest-Hit States
- District of Columbia
- New Mexico
Source: USA Today