ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. -- Two Jacksonville defense contractors are gearing up for the possibility of laying off dozens of workers.
For Michael Whalen, owner and manager of Specialty Marine, the news will cause a domino effect for businesses like his that rely on the contractors.
"It's devastating," said Whalen who had to fight back the tears as he spoke of the possible impacts to his employees.
His marine hardware store on Mayport Road has been serving ship builders and repair contractors for the Navy since the 1990s.
When news of possible layoffs at General Dynamics and BAE Systems began to swirl, Whalen worried it means he'll have to lay off his employees too.
"If they lay off 50 percent of their people, we're probably going to layoff 50 percent of ours," said Whalen.
According to a General Dynamics spokesperson, 65 employees may be let go as soon as April.
Dozens of employees may face the same fate at BAE Systems.
That's because of what's known as a "continuing resolution" which means the Navy is receiving limited funding because it's still functioning under last year's budget.
"They're running a circus up in Washington. It's the bulldog with the biggest bite, and they're waiting for somebody to flinch," said Whalen.
This week, Whalen will find out whether he'll need to let go of any more employees.