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Government shutdown affecting Capital Region residents

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WRGB) - On Saturday, the federal government shutdown will become the longest in U.S. history. Already, government employees have hit pay day without any pay. Local businesses and organizations are stepping in to help.

SEFCU President and CEO Michael Castellana said Friday that the Credit Union is now allowing federal employees who have a loan with SEFCU to defer payments for 90 days. SEFCU is also allowing members to take penalty-free withdrawals from share certificates and is offering emergency loans of up to $2500 at a lower rate for federal employees.

“We started getting calls as soon as this whole process started. A lot of employees, a lot of people, a lot of families live paycheck to paycheck. A lot of families have things in process, they want to buy a house or they intend on buying a new car, so to interrupt a family’s cash flow is very difficult and we want to be there to be their partner,” said Castellana.

Over in Menands, the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society is inviting federal employees to come and get food from their pet food pantry.

“We realize that when people are going through times of crisis it definitely impacts their pets and one of our missions here is to not only find new loving homes but to keep pets in their loving homes,” said Marguerite Pearson, Marketing and Communications Manager with the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.

The Humane Society is also waiving its income threshold for federal employees so they can access low cost spay, neuter and wellness services during the shutdown.

The New York State Department of Labor said that as of close of business Thursday 1,382 furloughed federal workers had applied for unemployment insurance.

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