COVINGTON - When she opened Roca Deli two years ago, Carol Hardin thought she had the perfect location.
The corner of 3rd and Scott in Covington is a short walk from the IRS office.
And she was right. She did a booming business.
"Our initial hours were 7 a.m. till 2 p.m," Hardin said.
During the lunch rush, her store was packed.
Business was so good that she extended her hours until 9 p.m. The idea was to accommodate the second-shift IRS workers.
But now, with the government shutdown, it has become a lonely place.
Most of the 4,000 IRS employees in Northern Kentucky are not going to work these day because their office is closed.
That's a lot of customers to lose for a local eatery that relies on them to stay open.
Hardin has had to make some drastic changes.
"Cut my hours and payroll. There's not a lot of business without the IRS," she said.
Although 75 to 80 percent of her income has vanished, she still has 100 percent of her bills.
"I've spent a lot of sleepless nights and worry because I want to keep as many hours for my employees as possible, but if we don't have business coming in, you have to budget your money," Hardin said.
For the time being, she is open for part of the day and hoping that Washington politicians end their squabble and let everybody go back to work.
"I hope tomorrow is the end of it," Hardin said.
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