Furlough Fridays hurting local businesses - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Furlough Fridays hurting local businesses

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Businesses near the Arsenal report much lower foot traffic. Businesses near the Arsenal report much lower foot traffic.

It's the start of Furlough Fridays and the effects are being felt all over. Redstone Arsenal closed gates 3 and 7 this week.

Traffic was backed up for miles Friday morning on 565 and Madison Boulevard. However, it was a ghost town driving near those closed gates today.

Southern Belles Hair and Nail Salon is located near gate three. The owner there said they are typically packed on Friday, yet nearly every chair was empty this Friday afternoon.

"It's frustrating and worrisome," said owner Betty Mazingo. "Because if it affects my business, it affects the ladies paychecks. I guess everyone is going to have to be cutting back."

Mazingo said she is considering offering discounts to boost business on Friday.

Meanwhile, Madison Police said they will be monitoring traffic patterns and call volumes on Fridays. If they notice more calls for service on the furlough Fridays, they will move shifts around and have more officers working at those times.

HEMSI said they are prepared to work around the increased traffic. They said they rarely use gates 3 and 7. They don't expect any increase in response times. 

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