Colorado Company Experiences Dip in Sales Since Government Shutdown
Airport security, park rangers, and other government employees are not the only ones being affected by the shutdown.
Airport security, park rangers, and other government employees are not the only ones being affected by the shutdown (note: a bill was signed on Friday, January 25 to temporarily reopen the government). Western Heritage of Loveland, Colorado is experiencing a major dip in sales due to the government shutdown. The company, which specializes in small-scale metal casting, laser engraving, and apparel embroidery, sells the majority of its products to U.S. departments and employees.
Mike Lynch, the shop’s owner, explains the business started experiencing plummeting sales immediately following the shutdown and had to start letting go of employees around Christmas. Since then, they have let go of all but one of his 13-person staff. He states, “We have packages to send, but there is no one there to receive them. We are not going to send them out of courtesy to our customers.”
The second-generation veteran-owned shop has been a resource for custom cast items for the past 43 years. Belt buckles were its starting point, but over time it has expanded into casting cuff links, keychains, lapel pins, chess sets, and more. The shop also provides customized plaques, embroidery, and leather embossing. The most noticeable of its products is the metal belt buckle, which is part of the official uniform of U.S. Forest Service employees.
Along with belt buckles, Western Heritage Company also produces badges, patches, plaques, appreciation coins, and awards for several government departments including AmeriCorps, National Park Service, Border Patrol, and Youth Conservation Corps.
For now, Lynch says he plans to focus on business development and hopes to slowly hire employees back as business picks up.
For more information, visit www.westernheritage.com.