KILLEEN (February 27, 2013) ---Civilian Department of Defense workers in the communities surrounding Fort Hood could lose their jobs or be furloughed without pay if automatic budget cuts kick in Friday.
With close to 6,000 workers on that list locally, area businesses could feel the impact, as well.
Chamber of Commerce President John Crutchfield said job cuts and furloughs could force some households are to look at their own budgets.
"People impacted are going to cut back, they're probably going to cut out some of the luxuries or maybe not go out for dinners much as they were and it's conceivable if it goes on for long you'll see some major purchases put off like vehicles," Crutchfield said.
Two days before the looming deadline for a budget deal that would head off the cuts, a co-owner of Billy Bob's Burgers in Killeen said he’ll be watching his business to see he needs to make changes in the restaurant’s budget.
"We haven't seen any effect I'm sure down the road if our business did go down that would be something we would have to consider," co-owner Tommy Ray said.
Some critics say the impact of the cuts has been exaggerated, but it's clear nobody has a firm handle on what will happen if they kick in Friday.
"How long this is going to stay unresolved, how long it's going to play out whether the cuts are permanent or not, whether it's going to be restored, there's a lot of speculation now that they'll be restored it'll only last a matter of days but we don't know that any of that is true," Crutchfield said.