Gonzalez-Reid said that's especially the case with their military clients.

"One of the things we do is select and install furniture for Department of Defense offices and in this current atmosphere, they are holding back and not looking at furniture as a real priority," she said.

If the sequestration lasts for several months, affected residents will certainly scratch many things they do now off their priority lists. Laurel Board of Trade member Robert Mignon said local businesses will feel the effect of those decisions.

Mignon, who owns Minuteman Press, predicted Thursday that the budget negotiations would collapse. He agreed with Smalls that the city government is sound when it comes to sequestration's effects, but not local businesses.


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"There is a lot of fear in the business community because people aren't spending money on things due to fear," Mignon said. "We had the fiscal cliff in January and now sequestration. The deficit talks are coming up and Congress doesn't seem to be addressing it."

As for his business, if no agreement is reached soon and layoffs, furloughs and closures kick in, Mignon said he will definitely see a loss in revenue.

"I would be affected because clients, like churches, that do programs or organizations that do newsletters won't do them as often because their members may be out of a job," he said.

Schools face uncertainty

In terms of education, in a worst-case-scenario Maryland could lose more than $14 million in federal funds this year for primary and secondary schools, according to White House numbers. At risk would be the jobs of 200 teachers and classroom aides in the state and Maryland's Head Start could be eliminated for 800 students.

At Laurel High School, Principal Dwayne Jones said he knows there's a possibility his school could be affected by sequestration.

 

"I'm like everybody else and have no idea," Jones said. "I do know if this isn't worked out, and federal funds are cut, it will trickle down to the school. We do get federal money, and it may be slowed down."

Budget experts say schools nationwide would probably not see any funding changes for months. Jones agreed and said it's next year's budget, which he is currently working on, that has him concerned. He's already thinking of possible areas to cut if Congress and the White House do not reach a compromise on the budget.

"We'd probably end up having larger classes or eliminate certain programs in case that happens (and no compromise is reached)," Jones said. "I don't think either side wants that, but it's a mixed bag of information that we're getting, with different spins about whose fault it is. To me, no one's innocent and I'm tired of the partisan politics."