Some local businesses, private museums see uptick as the government shutdown continues

Local businesses uptick as the government shutdown continues. (Photo: Carl Willis, ABC7)

The third week of the government shutdown is taking a toll on everything from federal workers to the food trucks that gather around federal buildings at lunch time.

However, there are some businesses that are actually seeing a boost in their bottom lines.

Business experts say entertainment outlets, movie theaters and bookstores are seeing a surge during the shutdown.

Georgetown University Management Professor Brooks Holtum explains.

"If the Smithsonian Museum is closed, people who are here vacationing might instead chose to go to a private museum," Holtum said. "There may be a desire to go to the movies or find other ways to use the time."

We checked with the privately funded Newseum and found their visitor-ship thriving.

"We are seeing a substantial increase," said Newseum Spokesperson Sonya Gavankar. "We're seeing at least double the number that we would see in January. We are seeing large crowds. We're also seeing a lot of group tours who had planned to come to Washington who are looking to adjust their schedules."

Museums and attractions remain closed throughout the National Mall — as a result foot-traffic is down.

In that same space, we're seeing a push in volunteerism. Matthew Capistrano with the Iglesia Ni Cristo was with a group picking up trash on the mall.

"It's quiet right now but we can see that people are doing what they can to help out," he said. "This is such a beautiful place. We want to keep the National Mall clean. This represents our country."

While it is an uncertain time for many, it's also a time for those to step up in the spirit of helping.

Not only are some businesses seeing an upswing, Holtum says this is a chance for furloughed workers to invest in their own businesses.

"A lot of these government workers might have side-gigs or hustles," Holtum said. "This gives them an opportunity to expand that. Maybe they've been wanting to expand that barbecue business that they do on the weekend."

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