Fort Jackson budget cuts - DatelineCarolina

Fort Jackson budget cuts

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Tom Woollen feels his business will be effected Tom Woollen feels his business will be effected
Lizards Thicket, down the road from Fort Jackson Lizards Thicket, down the road from Fort Jackson
 By: Ashley Spivey

Columbia's Fort Jackson is facing federal budget cuts that could cost almost half the civilians their jobs. The cuts are part of the sequester budget soon to be considered in congress. 

These cuts would not only effect individuals that work on the base bust would also impact the lively hood of many business owners in the community.

Tom Woollen is general manager of U.S. Patriot Tactical and a member of the Army Reserves. His store is right down the road from Fort Jackson and sells alternate military equipment for soldiers there. He says the impact of the budget cuts would effect more than just those who lose their jobs.

"Businesses that thrive off of the graduations, those people lose their jobs and it effects the economy as a whole," Woollen says.

Businesses that depend on visitors to the base, like hotels and restaurants, will also be affected.  Mark Williams is president of Lizard Thicket restaurant, believes the fort is part of what makes Columbia unique.

"it would have a tremendous effect on Lizard's Thicket and all other businesses here in Columbia," Williams says, "I think it's a part of Columbia having the fort here."

There is an army listening session Thursday at the Shandon Baptist Church on budget cuts. Politicians, military boosters, and business leaders will talk about the issue and is open to the public.

Williams says he will be there to show what it means for employment and business in the area.
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