Impact of furloughs one year later

FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) — A ledger that keeps more than just accounts balanced.

“Back when I was growing up it didn’t mean anything to me, but now it means a lot to me,” says Michael Foy.

This ledger was kept by Michael Foy’s grandfather, who first started Foy’s in Fairborn.

Now 85 years later, it’s an example of how businesses can survive, even through tough times like last year’s base furloughs.

The furloughs meant six days off without pay for more than 10,000 base workers.

That led many to cut back on visits to Fairborn restaurants and stores.

“It’s our life support system to put it quite bluntly,” says Paul Newman, Executive Director of the Fairborn Chamber of Commerce of the impact of the base on business in Fairborn.

The furloughs were only the beginning. A government shutdown in October closed the base for a few days. That was followed by a brutal winter.

“There’s some things these owners had to go through that are pretty tough,” Newman says. “Some part time people they had to let go. In some cases some permanent people they had to let go. The good news is those people are back working again.”

That can be seen in the crowded parking lots downtown and at businesses like Cakes for All Occasions which doubled its ice cream sales over the July 4th weekend.

Fairborn leaders are optimistic that better days are ahead for businesses because of potential growth at the base.

“It seems to be a pretty positive mode at the base that things are not only going to be status quo but there might be some more expansion of different kinds of services and more units coming to the base,” Newman says.

For Fairborn businesses any growth would bring balance back to many a ledger.

“I think as long as Wright-Patt stays here, Fairborn will stay here,” Foy says.

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