Government Shutdown: Local Credit Union, Cheboygan Bank Aim to Ease Financial Burden for Local Federal Workers

On Friday, many federal workers will miss their first paycheck since the shutdown began.

A few of the major agencies shuttered right now include the Department of Agriculture, Homeland Security and the Environmental Protection Agency.

If the shutdown continues through January 15th, members of the U.S. Coast Guard will miss their first paycheck.

They were given an emergency payment late last month.

And if the shutdown continues until the 25th, federal workers will miss another paycheck.

The government has even given impacted federal workers strategies to stay financially afloat until it reopens.

Over the past couple weeks we’ve seen many Northern Michigan businesses step-up to help out local federal employees during the government shutdown.

Awakon Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Onaway, is trying to make sure no federal employee living in their service area goes without an income.

“Our organization anticipated that this year’s government shutdown is going to be a little bit different than normal,” AFCU VP of Lending Jessica Richards, said.

“We feel that being preventative in helping our members financially now, versus when they are stressed and in a time of need is the best solution for our members,” Richards, added.

The credit union came up with a plan to help federal employees who live or work in the eight most northern counties of the Lower Peninsula.

“If you are a government employee and you are expecting repayment from the government once it is up and running, then we have a zero percent interest loan that is to be paid back once you receive your reimbursement,” Richards, explained.

That’s right all the money a federal worker would normally get, covered for at least a month.

The staff is also “dressing down for the shutdown” and raising money for local U.S. Coast Guard families, joining other Cheboygan area businesses, like Citizens National Bank.

“We at the bank are focused on trying to do fundraising during the entire shutdown, every Friday, to have a ‘Cause for Casual Friday,” Citizens National Bank CEO Matthew Keene, said.

“At the end that money will be distributed to the Coast Guard [Morale Fund], for them to use as they see fit for helping those that serve us. The only way our community can be successful is if we are successful together,” Keene, added.

Both businesses are also accepting private donations for their fundraisers.

If you are a federal employee interested in getting a payroll loan, contact Awakon Federal Credit Union at 989-733-8557.