Shutdown impacts small government contractor in Calif.

(CBS News) LOS ANGELES -- The government shutdown is affecting far more than the government and federal workers -- it's impacting small businesses.

Lisa Papini is vice president of Dante Valve Company. The 42 workers at the small business south of Los Angeles make safety relief valves for the U.S. Navy.

Lisa Papini
Lisa Papini
CBS News

"Our applications are the catapult steam system for aircraft carriers, laundry piping within the ship, and also there are nuclear applications for our products," Papini says.

Now, grinding these valves to perfection for the Navy is grinding to a halt.

"We were surprised to find out that nuclear inspectors and government quality assurance inspectors won't be able to come to our facility, so we'll be at a stop," she says.

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Now she has $100,000 worth of valves for the Navy that can't be shipped, because they can't be inspected, which means she can't get paid. On average, the U.S. government does $1.4 billion of business a day with U.S. contractors.

"When it gets shut down, like today, it has real effects on real people, absolutely," Papini says.

The Dante Valve Company makes safety relief valves for the U.S. Navy.
The Dante Valve Company makes safety relief valves for the U.S. Navy.
CBS News

Most of her contracts are with the government, but after the sequester earlier this year, she diversified, taking on more commercial clients. Papini says business needs predictability, just not the Washington variety.

"This gridlock that we're seeing is what we expect and what we're starting to accept as the new normal in Washington," she says. "Government by crisis."

Papini expects it to get worse. The Navy is planning to defer $950 billion in fleet maintenance. She says that won't be good for her contracts -- or the country.

  • Bill Whitaker

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