NORFOLK--The government shutdown will not have an enormous impact on the economy in Hampton Roads if it doesn't last too long, according to Old Dominion University Economics Professor and former President James Koch.
Koch and fellow professor Gary Wagner delivered the Regional Studies Institute/ODU State of the Region Hampton Roads 2013 report to more than 700 people Tuesday at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott Hotel.
The 162-page document focused primarily upon the effects of sequestration, with both professors noting that although the automatic defense cuts were bad, they could've been much worse.
'The shutdown will not have major impact unless it goes on for months and so forth,' Koch said.
The coming debate on the federal debt ceiling has Koch more concerned. However, he acknowledged the shutdown will hurt in small ways.
'We have almost 30,000 civilian D.O.D. employees in the region. When they're not working and they can't spend money and they don't buy pizzas, they don't buy cars, they don't go out to the movies, all of those things are negative,' Koch said.
Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President Ira Agricola listened to Koch and Wagner's presentation and said afterwards he is very worried about the shutdown's impact on business owners and merchants.
'There's people behind those numbers and that's the overarching concern for the business community, their spending is really going to be diminished,' Agricola said.