Local businesses, companies offering aid to furloughed employees


    Local businesses, companies offering aid to furloughed employees <p>{/p}

    Putting food on the table without getting paid is a struggle federal workers may be facing right now.

    This hits home for the Poke 3 restaurant here in the borderland.

    "Last night, she was cooking dinner for her kids, and was thinking about, 'Well, what if my brother can't cook dinner for his kids starting tomorrow?'” said Poke 3 General Manager Vicente Santaella.

    One of Poke 3’s partners has a brother who's going through this right now.

    "We decided to do a free bowl for every federal employee that's been affected by the government shutdown,” said Santaella.

    On Saturdays and Sundays, Poke 3 is offering a one-scoop bowl or one burrito for all federal employees who show IDs.

    Financial groups like the Teacher's Federal and First Flight credit unions are also opening their doors, giving financial breaks.

    "I’ve had people cry in front of me who really need help,” said TFCU’s assistant manager, Jaime Rios. “And sometimes there are ways we can, sometimes there are ways we can't."

    Rios said he’s seeing more and more people who need help.

    "Last week, I think we had at least two to three people every day,” he said.

    Rios said they're giving out 90-day extensions on making payments, loans and withdrawals with no penalties.

    "We can actually do a loan for them up to $8,000,” said Rios.

    Jim Huff, with First Financial , says they're doing more or less of the same, giving out a 0 percent interest loan.

    "It's an emergency assistance program that we have in order to help out those members,” said Huff.

    The government shutdown may seem out of hand, but the borderland is doing what it can.

    "We're actually recruiting and hoping that other restaurants and businesses join our movement,” said Santaella.

    All businesses say they will offer these deals as long as the government is shut down.

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