Black-Owned Small Businesses Buffeted by U.S. Shutdown’s Effects

Janet Bashen called her 19 employees Sunday night and told them she couldn’t afford to pay them.

Don’t come in Monday, she said.

The partial U.S. government shutdown had lasted too long for her namesake small business, Houston-based Bashen Corp., which provides diversity training and investigates discrimination complaints. Federal agencies were weeks late on about $100,000 in payments, and they had ordered her to temporarily stop work on several contracts, she said.

“There are mountains and mountains of government cases in my office that I can’t do anything with,” said Bashen, named to Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 list of influential African-Americans in business, entertainment, sports, politics and business in 2012.

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