Some federal prison guards working in Berlin and Coast Guard members stationed along the Seacoast have checked with their local Northeast Credit Union offices inquiring about getting loans or paycheck advances to cope with the federal government shutdown.
Dozens of workers have sought information on the credit union’s offer to front their paychecks for up to a month or until government funding is restored — whichever comes first — for members who already have direct deposit there, according to Andrea Pruna, Northeast’s senior vice president, chief marketing and retail officer.
Friday is the first paycheck that workers are expected to miss. Many workers, she said, were hoping the political standoff precipitating the partial shutdown would be resolved by payday.
“Early next week, there’s going to be an influx” of members coming in to sign up for the programs, she said.
About 10 members from Maine and New Hampshire already have been approved for a pay advance or special loan, she said.
The credit union, which has 15 New Hampshire branches, including one in Berlin, also is offering to defer up to three months of consumer loan payments and to provide short-term, low-interest loans with no payments for 90 days.
Meanwhile, Gary Simon is offering a helping plate or two to families hurt by the partial federal government shutdown, which has stretched into its third week.
On Wednesday he issued a one-time offer of $50 credit per family to eat at one of its restaurants in Massachusetts or New Hampshire. Alcohol is excluded by state law.
“You see it on TV and you see the stories and not to get political, it’s a shame,” said the co-owner of the British Beer Company in a phone interview. “People out there working and not getting paid; it’s horrible.”
Eligible workers include New Hampshire workers in the departments of homeland security, agriculture and interior, along with Massachusetts employees working in the departments of interior, transportation as well as health and human services.
In New Hampshire, there are about 2,400 people working in unfunded federal agencies, according to the state. The shutdown enters its 20th day today.
Workers should make a reservation and bring their ID when they dine at the British Beer Company. The New Hampshire locations are in Manchester and Portsmouth.
“We just put it together in 24 hours and got it out,” Simon said. He’s not sure how long it will last or how many people might take advantage.
Over the past two decades, “we probably donated many hundreds of thousands of dollars in different type of events like this,” he said.
Some other credit unions also are offering their members financial assistance.
The New Hampshire Federal Credit Union announced Wednesday it would offer loans ”to help bridge gaps in receiving paychecks” as well as provide relief for loan payments that may become overdue.
Service Credit Union is offering a zero-percent loan for up to $3,000 for six months and other assistance.
People should contact their organizations for more details and eligibility.
Toyota Financial Services also is offering payment relief options to shutdown-affected customers. Lease and finance customers could get two-month payment extensions or deferrals.