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Economic impact of DeKalb water main break: it’s a wash

The economic impact of the various closures due to the DeKalb water outage will depend on the business that a company is in.

Economists say that most companies that lose a day to an unusual event — like say, a snowstorm — generally just make it up during the next few days.

Two dozen workers are at the scene along Buford Highway.

However, some businesses simply cannot recoup the business lost. Restaurants, for example. Some customers who didn’t come by today, might simply come back a different time, but no one is going to return and buy two meals.

And many workers, too, are out of a day’s pay.

Starting with those restaurants, where many workers — like waiters and waitresses — are paid by the hour and with customers’ tips. And the economy is increasingly reliant on contract workers whose compensation is wholly dependent on working.

Perhaps they can make up the time, eventually working the same number of hours. Otherwise, a lost day of pay is a lost day of pay.

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AJC Business reporter Michael E. Kanell keeps you updated on the latest news about jobs, housing and consumer issues in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:

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