Georgia small business most vulnerable to shutdown, study says

12:45 p.m Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 Business
Steve Schaefer
Georgia is more vulnerable to a government shutdown than most since its small businesses receive so many federal loans. Here, a shopper looks over the merchandise at Homegrown in Decatur, a locally owned store that specializes in carrying work by local artists. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC

If the government shutdown continues, the impact on Georgia will be worst among small businesses who need federal help, according to a quick survey by a Washington, D.C.-based data research company.

Georgia has the highest average small business loan size of all states: $459,133, according to WalletHub, a Washington, D.C.-based company offering consumer credit scores and credit reports

In terms of the damage being done by the shutdown, the state ranks roughly in the middle – 22nd – but parts of the economy are more vulnerable, reported WalletHub.

And since the health of small business is generally seen as crucial to job growth, a freeze on federal loans could be a long-term problem.

A temporary shuttering of the Internal Revenue Service is also a problem for Georgia’s housing market. Without the IRS, a mortgage company cannot verify a borrower’s income using his or her Social Security number and taxpayer data.

The IRS has closed and stopped processing all forms, according to the National Association of Realtors.

However, the association said it has “received indications” that many lenders are willing to put the income verification on hold, while going ahead with the rest of mortgage process.

If the shutdown were to continue, the hardest hit would be Washington, D.C., followed by Maryland and Virginia.

The state’s least affected would be Indiana, Michigan and Minnesota, according to WalletHub.

Wisconsin has the lowest share of federal jobs, about 1 percent.

Georgia has 2.36 percent of its jobs on the federal payroll, slightly less than the national average of 2.63 times more federal jobs, WalletHub said.

WalletHub is a Washington, D.C.-based company offering consumer credit scores and credit reports.


AJC Business reporter Michael E. Kanell keeps you updated on the latest news about jobs, housing and consumer issues in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on, including these stories:

Never miss a minute of what's happening in local business news. Subscribe to