Business owners are worried about the future of Fort Carson. It's an estimated $1 billion chunk of our economy here.
Here's the problem: because of budget cuts, the Mountain Post is facing the possibility of huge reductions over the next 10 years. Sixteen thousand of its 24,000 soldiers stationed there could be gone.
Now, there's a new campaign by the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance to try to keep them here.
11 News stopped by several businesses Tuesday night. We talked to one restaurant owner who said it would be tough for him to keep his restaurants open if that many soldiers and their families are moved out.
A possible reduction of 16,000 Fort Carson soldiers is an impact all of Southern Colorado would feel. That's what the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance said, and that's what they're hoping to prevent.
"It’s a billion dollar impact to our economy across the state if the cuts that have been mentioned or listed as a possibility take place," El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams said.
"If that many soldiers [move] out, not only my business...whole city is going to be hurt," restaurant owner Kyung Lee said.
Lee owns and operates Sushi O Sushi near Fort Carson and Korea Express on post. He said even during the deployment of a few hundred soldiers, he notices a big difference at his restaurants.
"Even if the soldiers, like 200 soldiers going in the field, even just a few it hurts my business. And then 16,000 soldiers? It's going to hurt really seriously," Lee told us.
Now, the business alliance is asking everyone to pick up a “Keep Carson Strong” postcard and send it off, to send a message and show community support for Fort Carson.
“We’re hoping that we get thousands turned in and we hope that lots of people recognize the importance that Fort Carson plays in our local economy," Williams said.
"We have to stop it," Lee implored.
This is just the first step in a long process. No decisions have been made by the Army, the cuts are just a possibility.
The business alliance is asking that the postcards be turned in or mailed by Monday, August 25.
Locations of where "Keep Carson Strong" postcards can be picked up and dropped off are listed below.
Central: El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Office
Citizens Service Center 1675 W. Garden of the Gods Road West of Centennial 80907
Northeast: Motor Vehicle Department
North Union Town Center 8830 N.
Union Boulevard Research Parkway and Union Boulevard 80920
Southeast: Motor Vehicle Department
5650 Industrial Place
Powers Boulevard and Airport Road 80916
Downtown: Motor Vehicle Department
Centennial Hall 200 S. Cascade Avenue
Cascade Avenue and Vermijo Avenue 80903
Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance Alamo Corporate Center 102 S. Tejon Street, Suite 430 80903
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