FARMINGTON – Stocks were up Wednesday morning following the House of Representative’s passage of a tax and budget bill late Tuesday night.
But with details still being hammered out, residents are jittery about to how they proceed in the new year, said Kent Sulser, Davis County Community & Economic Development director.
Davis County businesses tied to Hill AFB may have the most to worry about. No immediate action was taken on Tuesday in regard to potential defense spending cuts of up to 8 percent.
Within the next two months, Congress must make decisions on spending cuts and could raise the $16.4-trillion federal borrowing limit.
If it doesn’t, the federal government may not meet its financial obligations, including paying federal employees.
“I think that what is really hurting business is the uncertainty of the future,” Sulser said.
But he believes businesspeople will work to overcome hurdles and be as successful as possible.
“They’re going to find ways to make it work, excel, build their business.” he said.
Uncertainty has made it hard, if not impossible, for many small businesses to move forward with hiring an extra employee or spending on building or equipment expansion, for example, he said.
“You want to be able to take care of your employees, but questions make it uncertain as to which way to go,” Sulser said. “A lot of people are holding back.”
Businesses are moving forward, “doing their thing,” he said, but they aren’t adding on, growing or developing “like they should be if they knew there was strong leadership.”
Investors are watching the stock market and checking their IRAs, as the financial markets react to what is happening in the nation’s capital.
Jim Barlow, a financial adviser in Layton, said one of his clients has switched all of his investments to cash.
“He (wanted) these guys to experience the fiscal cliff and learn their lesson.”
The investor thought everybody would be so unhappy Congress would have move forward, Barlow said.
Barlow correctly assumed that something would be done just in time to avert the cliff.
He compared the situation to a college student who waits until the night before finals to study.
Barlow also pointed to stocks being up Monday morning, more than a day before the final House vote.
“I’m always saying the market tells us the future,” he said.
The stock market stayed in positive territory on Wednesday.