Small businesses feel shutdown pinch. How to get financial wiggle room

Alex Wroblewski | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Demonstrators rally against a partial government shutdown at a protest hosted by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019.

Aircraft delivery company Jet Test and Transport has also seen the effects of the shutdown, due to paperwork that can’t be processed.

The biggest part of the company’s business, according to managing director Steve Giordano, is transporting aircraft without people or cargo on board. Jet Test operates the planes as an intermediate party, which requires a one-time authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Those authorizations are provided either directly from the FAA or through a designated airworthiness representative, or DAR.

In a Catch-22, the DARs report directly to the FAA, and the FAA inspectors who commission the DARs are unavailable. As a result, Jet Test flights that require special airworthiness certificates are completely unable to operate right now.

For example, the company has two planes in France that are waiting to fly to Brazil, but can’t go anywhere because they are registered with the U.S.

“Right now, it’s cost me $340,000 in revenue, which is probably about $90,000 in profit,” Giordano said of the shutdown’s impact on his bottom line so far.

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The Henderson, Nevada-based company, with eight employees, can still fly foreign-registered planes. But about 80 percent of their business is FAA-related, Giordano said.

“We had a really good year last year,” Giordano said. “We can kind of ride that wave.

“If it drags on more than a month, it’s definitely going to have an impact.”

Even if the shutdown ends today, companies like Tap Rm and Jet Test will likely still have to wait as the respective agencies they’re waiting on work through a backlog of paperwork.

In the meantime, there are steps that owners of small businesses facing a cash crunch may want to consider to help lighten their financial burdens.

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