va

Hampton Roads, like so many communities in Virginia, has an economy that centers around the military — in their case, the Navy.

And with eight days left for Congress to act to halt looming budget cuts known as the sequester, residents are increasingly worried that Naval Station Norfolk — the lifeblood of the community — will be hard hit.

Tom Taylor, who runs MF&B Marine Warehouse in Hampton Roads, is already watching contracts with the Navy dry up at his small ship-repair business.

“It’s not like turning on a spigot. You don’t turn it on and turn it off,” Taylor said in an interview with Fox News. “These (contracts) are months or years in the planning stage, so if they are canceled, you know, they don’t come right back. … So that’s pretty alarming.”

Like many small business owners in Virginia, Taylor will be directly impacted by the freeze in defense spending. Seventeen percent of the sequester defense cuts will come from Virginia’s Hampton Roads area. Estimates show that the entire state, factoring in major defense contractors in Northern Virginia, could lose as many as 200,000 jobs.