'Fiscal Cliff' could be disastrous to local businesses

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SHERMAN, TX -- The "Fiscal Cliff" refers to a combination of tax increases and spending cuts set to automatically kick-in at the end of the year.

Small Business Development Center Executive Director Karen Stidham said most experts believe small businesses will fall the hardest.

"The major problem right now is uncertainty," she said. "They don't know."

Businesses are cutting back spending and hiring while they wait for a deal, Stidham said.

"Some people may be facing some unemployment or at least a cutback in some of their hours, if they're hourly employees," she said.

And Stidham said the uncertainty of tax increases on individuals and possibility of lay-offs hurt the economy.

"But we're seeing consumers now saying they may cut back some of their Christmas spending and end of the year spending," she said.

Talking with people on the street, most Texomans are pretty opinionated on the matter. Most notably, they don't want to see their taxes increase. But a lot of people say they're just fed up with the process in general and want to see a deal put together.

"They either need to quite the spending and leave the taxes alone, or just let it go over the cliff, and let the president have it - it's what he wants," said local Mike Bernard

"I'd like to see them work together. That's what we elected them to do," said local Pat Esralian.

But Stidham said it's not time to panic.

"That's probably going a little bit too far. But we certainly need to be aware and concerned," she said.

Stidham said congress can retro-actively pass bills to fix the situation if we do go off the cliff.

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