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Data Reveals Impact of Shutdown on DC Area Businesses

The most recent government shutdown has had, or will have, an impact on nearly every American. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the five-week shutdown cost the economy $11 billion total, with nearly $3 billion of that permanently lost.

In addition to the direct impact on federal workers (and furloughed staff) during that time, there are networks of businesses around the country who count on the daily foot traffic of those workers to make a living. We decided to take a look at one of the more centralized areas likely to see a drop off in footfall – the Washington, DC area.

By comparing pre-shutdown footfall to footfall during the shutdown, we were able to see that many businesses and restaurants – from popular chains like Starbucks and Subway to local spots like Tonic, GW Delicatessen, and Foggy Bottom Grocery – saw significant decreases in average daily visitation during the government shutdown.

The locations below, all nearby impacted government buildings, all saw at least a 70% drop in average foot traffic during the shutdown.

Near the White House:

  • Starbucks (2130 H Street, NW): -88%
  • Chick-Fil-A (2121 H Street, NW): -87%
  • Peet’s Coffee & Tea (2121 H Street, NW): -85%
  • Panera Bread (800 21st Street, NW): -84%
  • Dunkin Donuts (616 23rd Street, NW): -83%
  • Subway (1444 I Street, NW): -82%
  • The Little Beet, a fast-casual restaurant (1212 18th Street, NW): -81%
  • Tonic at Quigley’s, a restaurant (2036 G Street, NW): -78%
  • Eighteenth Street Lounge (1212 18th Street, NW): -77%
  • Public Bar (1214 18th Street, NW): -76%
  • Carvings, a fast-casual restaurant (2021 F Street, NW): -76%
  • Uptowner Cafe (2023 G Street, NW): -70%

  • Near the US Department of State:

  • Subway (1959 E Street, NW): -80%
  • Potbelly Sandwich Shop (616 23rd Street, NW): -76%
  • GW Delicatessen (2133 G Street, NW): -74%
  • FoBoGro, a local grocery and deli (2140 F Street, NW): -73%
  • Starbucks (1957 E Street, NW): -71%

  • Near the Smithsonian:

  • IL Creations (1400 Independence Avenue, SW): -76%

  • Near the National Portrait Gallery:

  • Ella’s Wood-Fired Pizza (901 F Street, NW): -75%

  • The map below shows the footfall impact on various DC neighborhoods during the shutdown.

    With another shutdown potentially looming ahead, these businesses can and should begin preventative planning, even if they’re still in recovery mode. Whether it’s through targeted promotions and discounts to get people back in the door, or out of the box tactics like pop-ups or participation in initiatives like #ChefsforFeds, businesses need to stay one step ahead and find a way to prevent another devastating decline in foot traffic this month.

    If you’re interested in checking out more of our data-driven insights, read our previous posts here. For all media inquiries, please contact us at