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Fiscal cliff could impact businesses, consumers

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Albany/HV: Fiscal cliff could impact businesses, consumers
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With the deadline to make a decision regarding the so called fiscal cliff looming, our Beth Croughan has more on what the impact could be on small businesses and their customers.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Step inside ta-da! in Albany's Stuyvasent Plaza and you'll find a lot of unique and quirky items.

"There's a bit of maybe escapist (attitude), in saying that the stuff in our store is so much fun, it brings a smile to people's faces, maybe a little bit silly that it takes their mind off the fiscal cliff issue, you know, for now," said ta-da! owner Michael Richman.

While the store may help take their mind off of what's going on in Washington. Richman said it's still a concern for both him and his customers.

"We do have faith in our elected officials that they're not going to let this happen to us," he said.

What could happen, is that a combination of tax increases and spending cuts could go into effect if we go over the so-called fiscal cliff. That is, if decision makers don't make one by December 31st.

"The thought that in a few weeks we could get to a significant time for them and the viability of their businesses to have such a significant increase in costs is pretty disturbing and it's going to impact future hiring, it's going to impact potential expansion of their business," said National Federation of Independent Business State Director Michael Durant.

And while businesses and consumers wait to find out what the impact, if any will be Albany-Colonie Chamber President Mark Eagan said there's that level of uncertainty.

"Uncertainty is never good in an economy. Particularly in an economy that's gone you know, through this recessionary cycle that we've been through," he said.

Eagan said people will usually wait to spend money until they know they'll have money to spend. But Richman said he thinks the holidays are helping him with sales this month.

"From what we can tell, you know people certainly have their concerns about the political situation and the tax situation. But, you know, they are trying to get through the holidays and that they want this to be a good time, they don't want this to be marred," he said.

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