Opportunity, Headaches Expected Inauguration Week

Businesses warned to be prepared

WASHINGTON -- Next month's presidential inauguration is expected to be both a windfall and a headache for area businesses.
 
As many as 4 million people -- or about 20 percent of the number of people that usually visit the D.C. area in a year -- could visit D.C. for the inauguration.
 
In a Monday briefing, area businesses were warned to expect delays in deliveries due to packed roads. Companies should plan for emergencies, communications failures and other infrastructure problems.
 
The Greater Washington Board of Trade gathered business leaders Monday and urged them to be ready. Businesses were told to have a company plan and task force to account for employees and how they'll get to work, to consider telecommuting or staggered hours, and to be aware of security closures that could happen at any moment during the week.

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Planners are worried about the potential for bad weather. A review of past inaugurals back to 1937 shows the average temperature was 36 degrees. Special snow plans already are in place.
 
Business and government leaders also were reminded that journalists and leaders from all over the world will be watching Washington, so the city and region must put on a good show.
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