Who needs “best” lists of scary movies this October when we've got our own reality horror show in Washington, D.C. — complete with the possibility of a hair-raising government shutdown sequel come spring?
That's roughly three-and-a-half to four months to brush up on your survivalist skills, stock your bomb shelter and secure your perimeter against zombies and other undead. (Note: Dealing with zombies in the workplace requires different skills.)
But seriously. Standard & Poor's now estimates that the 16-day shutdown deprived the American economy of $24 billion. Most of that came out of the pockets of small businesses and furloughed workers. Were there steps they could have taken ahead of time to lessen the impact?
I found a handful of articles advising investors ahead of the shutdown to stay the course rather than rush to shift their money anywhere, whether that be into bonds, metals, foreign markets or under the mattress at home. As one analyst said, if the U.S. government ever actually defaults, your best bet would be a cabin in the Canadian woods.
There was a lot of hyperbolic reporting as the partial shutdown lengthened, including this nifty interview with a survivalist seeing his business profit from the anxiety.
But what about the rest of us? If you aren't prepared to go off the grid and you think a shutdown is imminent, is there anything you can do to prepare and protect your business or personal bank account?
Should you borrow capital now? Hoard cash? Stock up on canned goods? Plan to take a vacation that month?
Is it possible to hedge against another shutdown? If you have any ideas, I'd be interested in hearing them.
Our Inside Business focus in the upcoming issue is on health care — specifically what's happening locally with the Affordable Care Act. We've talked to employers, insurance brokers and others to learn what they're experiencing.
Also in the Oct. 25 issue, we tell you about yet another business growth opportunity springing out of the Marcellus Shale industry in Pennsylvania and how a major company is building on it.
Meanwhile, you can find the week's networking opportunities here.
In August, reporter Jason Scott profiled Schuylkill County-based Sterman Masser Inc., one of the largest potato shippers east of the Mississippi River and which also has operations in Dauphin County. Potatoes were in the news last week, with the introduction of a bill by state Sen. Dave Argall (R-Schuylkill) that would allow the sale of spuds in 8-pound bags. Who knew — besides potato farmers — that you couldn't?
And since we're talking scary movies — which to me, in October, means ghosts and ghoulies, not slashers, here's a list of Top 20 ghost movies. My favorite is No. 11.