Mar 5, 2014 9:00 PM by Greg Dingrando

Military cuts could hurt Springs economy

COLORADO SPRINGS - Looming military cuts have grabbed the attention of military towns all over the country and many fear Colorado Springs' economy could be one of the hardest hit.

Economists said the reason is because the Springs doesn't just have one major military installation, but five.

If you head to just about any restaurant near and around a base or post, you'll most likely run into the military.

"We have cadets, retired military, we have active duty, and that's our business. We have regulars that come in, but a lot of our business is military," said Mary Janssen at Guthries Bar and Grill.

The same is true for retailers like Lucci's Music, which is why they're so concerned to have any kind of cuts.

"Without those folks we would definitely see probably a 15% decrease in our revenues," said Matthew Lucci, owner of Lucci's Music.

And that's just near the Air Force Academy. Throw in the other institutions and economists said it could be a disaster.

"The military here in el paso county is approximately 40-45% of what we call gross domestic product for the area. that is a very significant share of a our local economic activity," said economist Fred Crowley.

And a loss in money, likely leads to job loss.

"For every hundred military people here in town it creates somewhere in the range of 75 to 80 civilian jobs," said Crowley.

Losses like that might take awhile, but small businesses aren't waiting around. Some are already trying to brace for impact.

"As a small business owner I have to make sure I find other ways to grow the business and there's lots of things we can do," said Lucci.

At this point its hard to say how much of an impact this will have on our local economy because the department of defense hasn't announced exactly where the cuts will come from. Congress has the final say on all matters relating to military budget cuts.



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