South Dakota was named the 12th hardest hit state by the government shutdown this week because of the number of small businesses started here. Small Business Administration loans have come to a halt and that's putting some American dreams on hold.
These three auto mechanics worked in a shop together for five years before deciding to open their own in Tea. It took six months of work, but they found the perfect location and everything seemed to be falling into place.
"I've been a mechanic for 23 years and five years into doing it, I thought it would be nice to open my own shop and now I have the opportunity to do it," Mark Roach of Auto Dynamics said.
But that opportunity stalled when they went in to close on their small business loan, backed by the government, which was shut down.
"We have set up our accounts, we have vendors, we have our tax license we have everything we need to start the business. We have our company, we just don't have a place to operate out of," Eric White of Auto Dynamics said.
They even ordered $100,000 worth of equipment.
"You've got your hoist, tire machines, balancers, and alignment. We've got that all sitting in a warehouse right now waiting to be installed," Paul Hoffman of Auto Dynamics said.
And to top things off, all three of these men quit their jobs because they thought they'd be open by now.
"It's kind of scary because the money is going to run out sooner or later, probably sooner than later. We just hoped this is all cleared up before that happens so we can get our business up and going," White said.
"This government shutdown has been really hard on small business, which of course is hard on the economy, which of course hard on America, so the sooner we can get it resolved; and I don't care what side of the issue you sit on, it's just not good for the general public right now to have this going on, " Executive Director of Dakota Business Finance Lynne Keller Forbes said.
Dakota Business Finance is the certified development company for the SBA. The executive director says they were able to get five loans through by the end of September, but now every step of the process to get a loan is backed up.
"So when the SBA workers do come back to work, they'll have an inordinate amount of work to do and I'm not sure how long that backlog is going to take to clear up," Forbes said.
These business partners hope their dream can get back on track as soon as possible.
"It's following the American dream. We've done everything by the books to make this go as smooth as possible. We just never saw this coming," White said.
You can still apply for a small business loan and start the process and hopefully the government will be back up and running by the time new loans are submitted to the SBA.