Furloughed workers return, economic impact remains - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Furloughed workers return, economic impact remains

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By: Alexandra Cowley

acowley@abc6.com

A huge relief for hundreds of Rhode Islanders furloughed because of the government shutdown. Most of the federal civilian workers have been called back to work, but there's still a whole lot of uncertainty

Of course, being called back to work is good news for more than a thousand furloughed Rhode Islanders. But not all will get paid, which means local businesses will continue to feel the impact.

The Bagel Boys Deli and Coffee Shop in Newport is tucked away, but that's never been a problem for business.

"A lot of my customers are navy civilians," said Sheri Mignogna. She says 85 percent of the shop's customers come from Newport's navy base.

"especially a tiny little store like this, without my regulars, we really have nothing,"Mignogna explained.

Starting this week, most of the 800 furloughed civilian employees from Newport will return to work. Except, they won't be getting paid. Which means the seats in Mignogna's shop will probably remain empty.

"I saw one person for lunch on the first day, which is a huge drop," she said.

It's a slightly different story for 300 federal technicians who work for the Rhode Island National Guard. They will be getting paid.

Lt. Colonel Peter Perente says, "they're going to reintegrate into their jobs as nothing happened with them. They've all been notified, so they're happy to come to work, so were just happy to have them back."

Regardless of the mini victory for most of the furloughed workers in Newport and the National Guard, folks like Sheri Mignogna can only hope it all gets resolved soon.

"If these were to continue I don't see us surviving losing all of those people," she said.

The furloughed workers could receive back pay, but that all depends on how things shake out in congress.

(C) WLNE-TV 2013

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