Should local businesses worry about economic impact from Boeing's grounding

    Should local businesses worry about economic impact from Boeing's grounding (KOMO file photo)

    While production of the 737 Max continues at Boeing’s Renton plant there is concern from nearby businesses who profit from the facility’s 12,000 workers.

    Some restaurants and retail stores are concerned about the impact the plane’s grounding could have on the local economy.

    Inside Hop Garden on Renton’s Park Ave North it’s easy to catch Boeing employees ordering menu favorites.

    Engineers and machinists who are patrons at the restaurant are a big part of the bottom line.

    “It’s like 40 percent of the business,” said Ignacio Galindo, the chef at Hop Garden.

    With the 787 Max grounded nationwide and the plant where the aircraft is assembled just blocks away there’s concern about the future.

    “I’m really worried about it,” said Galindo. “It’s probably going to impact my business because all these workers come to eat on their breaks."

    The dean of Seattle University’s Albers School of Business and Economics sat down with KOMO News to provide some perspective about the situation and how it could impact our local economy.

    “If you’re a local business in Renton and selling food — you’re a restaurant, a movie theater, whatever — I don’t see a big impact because I don’t see people getting laid off,” said Dean Joe Phillips.

    That’s because production of the MAX has not slowed down, and orders have not been canceled. But Phillips says Boeing won’t walk away for this tragedy without a blow.

    “I’m sure it’s going to impact the bottom line there’s no way they can get through this without some hit to their profitability,” said Phillips.

    Meanwhile at Smoking Monkey Pizza owner Sean Bullock is choosing to stay positive.

    “Well until they start announcing layoffs, I’m not going to be concerned at all,” he said.

    Phillips says Boeing’s current challenges would have to get bigger and take much longer to fix for that to even to potentially happen.

    “I’m confident and I think most people are confident that Boeing will figure it out and get a fix and not have to slow down production very much,” said Phillips.

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