FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The partial government shutdown is just the latest bad news for military towns already grappling with mandatory budget cuts and planned reductions in the size of the country's armed forces.

Military contractors and other small businesses have been preparing for the worst for months in places like Fayetteville, N.C., home of Fort Bragg, and Hinesville, Ga., home of Fort Stewart. Now comes this: brinkmanship in Washington.

But people like Brian Kent, president of K3 Enterprises, say something must be done soon to save these businesses. Two years ago, Kent planned to expand his firm that provides technology and medical services to the Army to 200 workers. Now he's down to close to 50 employees and plans more cuts because he can never be sure when money is coming from the government.