Fear Of Falling Off 'Fiscal Cliff' Impacts OKC Businesses

Thursday, December 27th 2012, 6:03 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

Only five days now before we go off the ‘fiscal cliff', sending taxes higher and cutting federal spending. But Businesses in Oklahoma say the lack of a deal in Washington is already having a negative effect on them.

At Port Interiors in Edmond, this was their first Christmas in business.

"It is a little bit less than what we expected, which is congruent with what other small shop owners have said as well," said owner Teresa Featherly.

They sell big-ticket items like furniture as well as less expensive decorative touches, and Featherly fears the unknown about what may or may not happen in Washington D.C. is making her customers apprehensive about spending money.

12/26/2012 Related Story: Milk Prices Could Soar If Deal On ‘Fiscal Cliff' Not Met

That seems to be the trend nationwide as well.  According to the MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse report that was released on Tuesday, holiday sales in the two months before Christmas increased 0.7 percent, the weakest holiday performance since 2008. 

"It's a scary thing," said David Stanley President Rob Stanley.  

Stanley says his car sales have remained steady, but he fears that will change without a deal by January 1.

"You're talking between $2,500 and $6,000 dollars a year in extra taxes for the average consumer, that's a year's worth of car payments," he told News 9.  "So I see it changing things quite a bit."

Stanley and Featherly both agree the waiting may be the worst. 

"I think it's scarier, that lag time and not knowing rather than just pulling off the Band-Aid and knowing what's going to happen one way or another,"  said Featherly.

Economists warn that if we do go off the fiscal cliff it will send the country back into a recession.  

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