Organizations and businesses helping federal employees during shutdown


    Local government, organizations, and businesses are offering assistance and discounts to federal workers during the government shutdown.

    How is the shutdown impacting you and your family? Share videos explaining your shutdown story here.


    The City of Columbus said they are offering to furloughed workers help with utility bills.

    “Federal employees should not face penalties and potential loss of basic services like water because the federal government cannot work together to pass a budget,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “We will do our part to support families during this difficult time, but I call on the President and Congress to reach a resolution and reopen the government.”


    The VSC said the organization has an established financial aid program which may be able to assist veterans in meeting monthly bills such as rent, mortgage, utilities and food. The program is for veterans, and you can get more information here.


    The Columbus Zoo & Aquarium is offering free admission to affected government workers and their immediate family members as long as the shutdown continues.


    Cosi is offering free admission to furloughed federal employees and their immediate family members during the government shutdown. Federal employees will need to show their employee ID at COSI's box office to receive the free admission.

    For more information visit COSI's website.


    Bexley also announced that they would be helping federal workers during this time.

    "Today we are announcing that the City of Bexley is providing assistance to Bexley resident employees of the federal government impacted by the current government shutdown," said Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler. "We will provide deferred payment options on Bexley utility bills, including water, sewer, and refuse bills."


    COTA is offering furloughed employees free fares starting on Wednesday. Federal employees wishing to access this benefit will need to bring their government ID and notice of furlough to COTA's Pass Sales Office at 33 North High Street between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday thru Friday.

    “This is an unprecedented time in our country, and many in our community are feeling the financial effects of a situation beyond their control. We hope that providing an accessible mobility option during this stressful time will provide some relief to these hard working public servants and their families," said COTA President/CEO Joanna Pinkerton. “When the community needs us, COTA is there."

    COTA says after the shutdown ends, the remaining balance of the 31-day pass will still be valid.

    For more information, visit COTA's website or call them at (614) 228-1776.


    Ohio State Athletics is offering free tickets to athletics events to federal employees affected by the shutdown. You'll just need to show a valid government ID.


    Condado Tacos is offering a free taco, no purchase required, for all government employees affected. The offer is good at all their locations, you'll just need to show your ID.

    You can find Condado at the following locations:

    • Short North: 1227 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43201
    • Downtown Columbus: 132 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
    • Clintonville: 2977 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43202
    • Easton: 2077 Fenlon Street, Columbus, Ohio 43219
    • Polaris: 8958 Lyra Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43


    Gateway Film Center is free admission to any movie of their choice until the shutdown ends.

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