Pawn shops among industries that may see boost despite shutdown

Published: Jan. 11, 2019 at 8:47 PM CST
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While the partial government shutdown slows businesses at some federal agencies throughout the U.S., it could end up boosting business for some industries, including pawn shops.

Bruce Harris, owner and operator of A-OK Pawn Shop locations in Wichita says there is a concern for his business regarding the government, shutdown, but not much.

"A lot of our customers are day-to-day customers and here around Kansas, there just doesn't seem to be much effect at all," he says.

A-OK area manager Martin Swanson says there many actually be more financial confidence than usual thanks to the announcement by the federal government that refunds will go out as planned.

"Instead of getting a $1,000 loan, they may be getting a $1,500 loan, knowing full well they're going to have to pay a little bit more back," Swanson says. "But they don't seem to mind, knowing that tax refund is in the pipeline."

The consensus among pawn shops that spoke with Eyewitness News is that that that confidence will fade if the government shutdown continues in the form of a higher demand for loans.

In anticipation of a higher demand or need for loans coming from government workers if the shutdown persists, Harris says his store will offer payday loans with no interest. These loans wouldn't have to be paid back until federal employees receive their first post-shutdown paycheck.

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