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Local Businesses Aiding Those Affected by Government Shutdown

By Anna Grace Usery

Three local businesses are offering support to government workers during the shutdown period: FNB Oxford, Dodo Pizza and Uptown Coffee. 

Photo via Facebook.

Today marks day 33 of the government shutdown that President Donald Trump issued on Dec. 22. CNN estimates more than 800,000 federal workers employed in the agricultural and judicial fields, among others, have been affected. The shutdown will end, Trump says, when funding for his $5 billion border wall that spans the length of American-Mexican border is approved. 

Senior Vice President of FNB Oxford Bank, Campbell Helveston, said the bank is offering a product that may give their customers some reprieve—a deferred payment loan. FNB will offer a three-month note to those who qualify and defer the interest payments to come due at the end of the three-month term. 

Photo provided.

“It is specifically designed for federal employees in our Lafayette and Lee county markets who have been placed on non-pay status due to the government shutdown,” he said. “The deferred payment loan will be based on the applicant’s take-home pay.”

Helveston said he is hopeful this product will be able to provide some assistance to not just FNB customers but to all federal employees in Lafayette and Lee counties affected by the government shutdown.

“We know they still have to buy groceries, gas and other necessities, so we want to help out where we can,” he said.

Any federal employees placed on non-pay status in these markets who are interested in FNB’s options can contact any of the bank’s loan officers. In Oxford, call 662-234-2821 or Tupelo, call 662-842-6678.

Local businesses Dodo Pizza and Uptown Coffee are also offering free pizzas and coffee to government employees. At both locations, all that is required is a government ID.

CEO of Dodo Pizza, Alena Tikhova, said she believes local businesses must play an important role in the community.

“If the community supports your business by buying your product, you must also support the community by addressing its issues,” she said. “One of the most important issues today is the government shutdown and government employees not being paid as a result of it. We at Dodo Pizza are simply helping with what we have: pizza and a smile at the register.”

Photo via Facebook.

Uptown Coffee on the Oxford Square is also offering a free cup of coffee to government employees, some who frequent the store daily said manager and co-owner Gretchen Williams.

“The government shutdown affects us all and we just want to do what we can to help support these people in our community,” she said.

Some local government employees are giving businesses praise for remembering them in their time of need. 

Oxford resident Claire Robinson is one of the government employees on furlough. She said her appreciation for Uptown Coffee’s gesture—and coffee in general—really made her day. 

“We have a good many federal government employees in Oxford and Lafayette County, so this support from our community makes us appreciate living in this city and county even more,” she said.

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