Jim Dinegar, head of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, says even if Congress manages to come to a last minute agreement, the mere possibility of a shutdown is causing problems.
"It's this uncertainty over the next 24 to 48 hours that has everyone on the edge of their seat now," he says.
If the government does shutdown, Dinegar says it will have a devastating effect on the local economy because the tens of thousands of federal workers in the D.C. region -- many more than were here during the last shutdown -- wont be getting paid.
"The ripple effect will be that they won't be going out to the movies or the play this week or next week, or out to dinner," he says. "Maybe they're not going to buy that new couch. Maybe they're not going to paint the house. Maybe they're not going to take that vacation this summer to Ocean City. And we'll start to feel that throughout the economy in greater Washington."
Dinegar says some local hotels and conference centers are already reporting cancellations, and he's advising all businesses to develop a plan for at least one month ahead.