With the current federal government shutdown turning into the longest-running government shutdown in history (and the 3rd that began in 2018), hundreds of thousands of federal workers are furloughed or working without pay, services are ceased, and lives are affected.
With the shutdown continuing longer than anyone anticipated, more and more local businesses are hoping to help ease the burden of the affected workers by offering freebies and deals for furloughed Federal employees. If you aren’t personally affected by the shutdown, we encourage you to visit and support these generous businesses as a thank-you for caring about our community. We’ll continue to add to the list below as we find deals, but if you know of others, please comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Businesses offering freebies and deals to furloughed Federal employees during government shutdown
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium: The Zoo will offer free admission to furloughed federal employees and their immediate family members for as long as the government is shut down. Federal employees must present their federal ID or badge at the ticket booth for free admission. The also offer free admission for all on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 21) and President’s Day (February 18). Parking will still be $10 per vehicle during the promotions. (link)
Ohio State University Athletics: Through the end of the government shutdown, federal employees can receive two free tickets to all Ohio State athletics events, including men’s and women’s basketball, men’s ice hockey, wrestling, women’s gymnastics and men’s lacrosse. Visit ohiostatebuckeyes.com for schedules. The offer may be redeemed on the day of the event at the Athletics Ticket Office located in the northeast corner of the Schottenstein Center or at the ticket office at the event site, based on availability. Federal employees are limited to two complimentary tickets per event and must show a valid federal government ID. For more information, contact the Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-GO-BUCKS. (link)
Condado Tacos: Free taco if you show your federal government ID. No purchase necessary. (link)
Fazoli’s: FREE Pizza Baked Spaghetti w/ Small Drink Purchase to all Federal Government workers affected by the shutdown. Must present valid Government Employee ID, available at participating locations only. from now until 1/20/19. (link)
The Crest Gastropub: Free lunch (at the Clintonville location) and free dinner (at the Parsons location) to federal workers affected by the government shutdown. Alcohol is not included, some menu exclusions may apply, and you must present your work ID or badge to participate. (link)
Doggie Day Spa Grooming & Self Serve Salon (1627 W 1st Ave Grandview Heights): FREE self dog washes to all federal employees throughout the government shutdown. We supply everything that is needed to wash your pup so all you will need to bring is your four legged friend and your federal employee ID. No appointment necessary for self wash but as a reminder we do take our last bath 30 minutes before close. (link)
Peanut Shoppe Columbus (21 E State St, Columbus): FREE 1/4 pound of peanuts each day (in the shell or out). Show us your work ID and pick your treat! (link)
Ohio State School of Cosmetology locations – Salon Schools Group (Columbus, Heath, Marion, Canal Winchester): Furloughed federal employees and families will receive free hair services during the shutdown with current ID. (link)
Ray Ray’s Hog Pit (Multiple locations): Starting January 17, get a free sandwich + side (your choice) this weekend with ID. All day, all weekend, all locations. (link)
AT&T: “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.” Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are also willing to work with affected government employees.
If you find that you are struggling to purchase food or simply to make ends meet, feel free to reach out to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank for food relief or guidance: https://www.midohiofoodbank.org/get-help/get-food/.