riparian rap

Stop the government shutdown now!

The current crew at LRRD. Nine of us depend on LRRD for
our living.
An open letter to friends, colleagues, and our vendors:

The ongoing government shutdown is hurting our business and is about to hurt yours. This is not the way our democracy should work.

This GOP-engineered move against our recently re-elected President and the Supreme Court-approved Affordable Care Act is terribly irresponsible and must stop at once.  Government employees aren’t allowed to work, the private sector is unable to operate normally, and a massive amount of uncertainty has been injected into the economy.


The annual GSA meeting is our one big chance to show
our products; it’ll be a disaster if federal employees can’t
attend this year.

We are a small business of nine dedicated people in Carbondale, Illinois.  A good portion of our research and education products are purchased with federal funds.  Little River was already suffering from one of the worst economic slumps in US history.

This crass move hurts us further, and will soon be reflected in your bottom line as well.

Here’s how the shutdown has directly impacted LRRD in only one week:

  • $500,000 in open quotes hangs in the balance.  Whether or not we make those sales depends directly on the sort of federal funding that is held up by the shutdown.
  • Our clients who depend on federal grant money – that includes universities, colleges, public schools, private schools, museums and nonprofits, to name a few – don’t know the status of their grants for FY2014.  Those who applied for grants don’t know if they’ll get funding.  Those who got funding can’t access it until the budget is approved.
  • The Illinois Office of Trade and Development awarded us money through the STEP program for a sales trip abroad.  That money comes from the Small Business Administration, a federal entity, and we can’t have it until after the shutdown ends.
If the shutdown doesn’t end soon, we lose hundreds of thousands of dollars.  When we lose business, our suppliers lose business.  See a list of some of those suppliers below, who can expect a dramatic cut in sales from us as the shutdown drags on.
Since much of basic research in Earth Sciences and medicine is government funded, our colleagues in those areas are suffering as well, and not just from furlough.  Valuable projects are being abandoned and spoiled because scientists cannot monitor them, or are going to miss once-a-year field windows.
Our biggest conference of the year, the Geological Society of America (GSA) meeting in Denver, is only two weeks away.  If federal employees are barred from attending, our $25,000 investment in a booth there will be largely wasted.
The list goes on and on.  This is no way to run a great country.
Please contact your elected representatives ( in Washington and tell them to pass a budget and end this shutdown immediately.


Steve Gough
Owner and Founder, Little River Research & Design
Since 1991


Local suppliers:
Common Grounds Coffeehouse
Fastenal Company
Longbranch Coffeehouse
Lowe’s Home Improvement
Hunan Restaurant
Murdale True Value Hardware
Neighborhood Co-op Grocery
Pagliai’s Pizza
Southern Recycling Center
Wright Do-It Center
National suppliers:
Allied Electronics
BDG International Inc.
Composition Materials
Digi-Key Electronics
Enco Manufacturing
Jameco Electronics
Little Machine Shop
Mouser Electronics
L.E. Sauer Machine Shop
Nathan finishes an Em2 box.
Jim, Nathan, and Anna ship a river model.  Many of our
models are at least in part federally funded, and many
vendors, including this truck driver, depend on our


Our models are used worldwide for education and
research in river science, earth sciences and conservation.


Vital research that must be done in narrow field seasons has been abandoned
or cancelled; in some cases, project are ruined.  This is a huge waste of money.