Trump's inauguration could impact businesses in Virginia

Published: Jan. 14, 2017 at 2:15 PM EST
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In less than a week, Trump will officially become President at his inauguration. Experts here in Virginia say that day is going to affect a lot, including here at home.

Local businesses will be impacted, like all the places in downtown Blacksburg. But the impact won't be all negative, as some worry. In fact, experts say there's plenty to be excited about.

"This moment represents opportunity, it's not a time to worry. The future isn't pre-ordained and so we have a great opportunity here to effect great change," Virginia Tech Associate Professor of Public Policy David Bieri said.

Bieri is an expert in economics. He says anytime a new president comes in, there's doubt in what will happen to the economy. But the new commander in chief usually calms those concerns quickly.

"Now we have the opposite case, where everybody else is waiting, in a sense, on the sidelines and the president-elect himself is not doing much to dispel the uncertainty," Bieri said.

That could mean a big impact on local jobs here in Southwest Virginia.

"People might either want to rush to hire now to lock in a certain amount of the old regime or wait and differ, which would certainly not be good news for the economy," Bieri said.

What's slowing Trump down is commotion in Washington, including the transition period with his staff. Political expert Charles Walcott says it's been a steady transition, but there are big problems with the appointees who are already disagreeing with Trump.

"There could be some serious policy clashes and some real trouble that the President has with respect to Congress in getting his agenda enacted," Walcott, a Virginia Tech emeritus of political science, said.

Walcott says the impact locally could be less than people think.

"An awful lot of people voted for Trump think he was going to be able to do things and then if it turns out he really didn't get it done, there's going to be, at least, disappointment, maybe backlash," Walcott said.

What will decide Donald Trump's success after next Friday will be how well he can handle important issues. Both Bieri and Walcott say that Trump needs to stop worrying about Hollywood and get off Twitter. Or if he is tweeting, to do so in a presidential manner.