Businesses Offer Furlough Freebies, Shutdown Specials and Assistance to Federal Workers

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While a deal to end the longest government shutdown appears to be far off, some businesses are offering furloughed federal workers a little relief ranging from free meals, restaurant discounts to deferring payments and zero-interest loans.

Around 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed or working without pay since Dec. 21 and won't receive their next paychecks until the government reopens.

Friday, Jan. 11 was the first payday most furloughed employees missed.

"We’re here to help ease the burden of trying to pay bills on time during the shutdown," AT&T said in a statement. "As long as the shutdown is in effect, our customer service team will waive late fees, provide extensions and coordinate with you on revised payment schedules."

Other major wireless providers including Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are also willing to work with affected government employees.

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