TRENTON — As federal workers face their first "payless payday" of the government shutdown, some businesses and organizations are lending a helping hand.

About 800,000 federal workers have been off the job as the shutdown continued Friday for the 20th day. Some workers deemed "essential," including members of the U.S. Coast Guard and the TSA, have to work even though they will not receiving payment until the shutdown is over.

Some of the groups offering financial help:

  • Atlantic City Electric: Gary Stockbridge, Atlantic City Electric region president, said that the utility offers a number of billing options to help those suffering a hardship.
  • Atlantic County SPCA: Offering assistance with dog food. Call 609-927-9059 for more information.
  • Brunswick Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: The South Brunswick school is offering free training until the shutdown is over
  • C-View Inn: The Cape May restaurant located near the Coast Guard's training center is offering 50 percent off all food menu items for military personnel and their families.
  • Middlesex County College: The school is accepting applications from those "adversely affected" by the shutdown for tuition assistance.
  • Ocean First Bank: The Red Bank-based bank is offering a Mortgage Relief Program that temporarily suspends mortgage and home equity loan payments for up to 90 days. Federal employees and employees who work for government contractors, vendors, and other businesses that rely on work from government agencies or that offer goods and services to members of the government workforce are eligible. Other banks offering assistance include Bank of America, Chase, M&T Bank and Wells Fargo

National companies also helping:

  • AT&T: Customers of AT&T and Direct TV can contact the companies for information about flexible payment options. They will also adjust late fees and provide extensions
  • Verizon: The company offers flexible payment options, including a "promise to pay" program.

Do you know of a business or group offering help?  Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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