Ken Kalthoff, NBC 5 News
Federal workers in Dallas, concerned about their next paycheck, gathered for a protest about the government shutdown that has put them out of work. Meanwhile, downtown businesses say they're feeling the pinch since federal workers aren't coming in and spending money.
Furloughed federal workers staged a downtown protest in Dallas on Friday in an effort to raise public pressure to end the budget impasse that's put them out of work.
It was one of five Texas demonstrations led by the American Federation of Government Employees.
Zakiya Davis, Environmental Protection Agency water enforcement officer, said it is hard to support a family without a paycheck. She has a son in daycare and another in college.
"Tuition is very high," she said. "I’m on my own. I need my paycheck so I can afford to take care of my family."
Businesses that cater to the furloughed employees are affected, too.
Several large downtown Dallas office buildings are normally filled with federal employees who have been absent this week because of the shutdown.
Lenny's Sandwich Shop on Fielder Street, which is in between two federal office buildings, says its traffic has nearly been cut in half.
Lenny's employee Gerald Nails said he worries his job may be cut back.
"Our hours are predicated on the business that we receive daily, and if we don’t get that business, then we may lose our share at our jobs, so hopefully it gets back to normal soon," he said.