This year may be a disappointing one for start-ups planning to go public. Those aiming to list in the first quarter are stuck in limbo, unable to start the application process until the government is fully re-opened.

raged on as about 800,000 federal employees were either furloughed or temporarily working without pay.

The SEC has staff “available to respond to emergency situations involving market integrity and investor protection, including law enforcement,” but most other functions are closed, the agency said on its website.

“When the government does re-open, the SEC will have a backlog of applications,” according to PitchBook analyst Cameron Stanfill. “That causes delays and could throw a wrench in some plans for those looking to file.”

Last year, the highest number of VC-backed companies entered the public markets since 2014, according to a report out this week from PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association. Venture capital exits hit $120 billion — a 33 percent increase from 2017, largely thanks to IPOs and buyouts. The government shutdown could dampen that total for this year, according to the PitchBook report.

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