Fort Meade, Anne Arundel Businesses Discuss Sequestration
As many in Anne Arundel County brace for the full impact of the sequestration, businesses express concern for the local economy.
Businesses based in the Fort Meade area and throughout Anne Arundel County met with Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) in Hanover on Monday to discuss the impact of the sequestration since many local businesses depend on the federal government for contracts.
Cardin said in a prepared statement that he is "working with my colleagues to develop a budget reduction plan that will end sequestration as soon as possible."
According to a press release from Cardin's office, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) estimates that sequestration could result in cuts over 10 years of more than $49 billion that could result in a loss of nearly 300,000 jobs nationwide.
Anne Arundel County has about 57,000 Department of Defense (DOD) workers at Fort Meade and tens of thousands of defense contractors working in support of DOD, according to Robert L. Hannon, president and CEO of the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation.
Cuts will be made to defense programs unless Congress acts.
"Sequestration is a reality and it will impact businesses throughout the entire nation, especially in the Fort Meade region," said Deon Viergutz, president of the Fort Meade Alliance.
The full impact of the sequestration is still not known for many residents, federal employees and businesses in Anne Arundel County.
“At this early stage of sequestration, it is the uncertainty that will reverberate through the local economy," said Hannon. "This uncertainty may be more troubling to the local economy than sequestration itself.”
In a press release, Cardin listed some of the effects of automatic, across-the-board cuts:
- The Small Business Administration (SBA) loan guarantees could be cut by up to $902 million;
- According to Stephen Fuller of George Mason University’s School of Public Policy, small business prime contractors with the federal government could account for 34 percent of the jobs lost under sequester;
- According to the Congressional Budget Office projections, 750,000 people nationally will lose their jobs and the economy will shrink by .6 percent by the end of the year;
- The Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates projects sequestration could mean a loss of 12,600 jobs, resulting in a reduction of Maryland wages and salaries by $2.5 billion; and,
- In this fiscal year alone, sequestration could cost the state $150 million in federal grants to state and local governments.