In shutdown, Minnesota businesses step up

Who cares more about the working stiff than the people who run the country? Just about everyone. People like Rami Derhy, who runs Signal Garage Auto Repair in St. Paul and West St. Paul.

Derhy’s operation is offering furloughed government workers free labor on auto repairs.

Of course, it’s unlikely that a lot of workers will be able to take him up on the offer since without a paycheck, it’s dicey to take the car in for all but the most necessary repairs. Parts, obviously, aren’t included. The offer provides up to $250 of free labor.

But the business didn’t have to make the offer, nor did it have to encourage other businesses to chip in to make life a little easier for the innocent people who have few friends in Washington.

“We are not trying to start a political discussion” Derhy said in a well-time news release. “But today marks the 24th day of the government shut down that deprives thousands of American working people from earning a paycheck, and we can at least help some of our neighbors in the community that have been supporting our family business for nearly 50 years by giving something back.”

You don’t have to own a business to chip in.

Some donations to the local food shelf might not be a bad idea.

In Rochester, Minn., the Channel One Regional Food Bank is trying to reach some of the 1,600 federal workers in its area who might need help with groceries, stressing that the income requirements are based on a week, not the whole year. Workers went without paychecks that were due last Friday.

Many banks are also cutting employees a break. U.S. Bank, for example, is providing low-rate loans to customers. Some credit card companies are waiving late-payment fees and even allowing customers to skip a payment without penalty.

On Reddit, a woman posted that her husband took their dog to the vet and mentioned while there that he’d been furloughed.

No charge.

(h/t: Paul Tosto)