Bank and business leaders joined lawmakers at the Statehouse Thursday, encouraging Vermonters impacted by the partial government shutdown to come forward sooner than later.
“Don’t hide, don’t put your head in the sand, engage your bank, engage your financial service provider,” said Chris D’Elia of the Vermont Banker’s Association.
Hardship is beginning to hit about 1,500 federal workers living and working in Vermont, as the shutdown nears its fifth week.
“This has been a huge change for families that are used to a steady paycheck,” said Rep. Mitzi Johnson, D- House Speaker.
State leaders have been monitoring the stalemate in Washington over the spending bill, Johnson says Vermont is holding its own.
“We have enough reserves on-hand to carry us through the end of March,” she said.
Federal money for Medicaid and transportation is still coming in, but banks and credit unions across the state are trying to help their customers weather the storm.
“If you have a checking account and your account is stressed at this point, maybe you’re overdrawn, the banks will consider waiving all fees,” said D’Elia.
Financial institutions are evaluating things on a case by case basis, some are offering short-term loans and assistance.
With the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives furloughed, Vermont’s brewing industry is also seeing an impact.
“We rely for approval of our beer labels and our plans for expansion, without these approvals we cannot release our new brands or grow our businesses,” said Avery Schwenk of Hermit Thrush Brewery.
Many of the resources being made available are being compiled on Vermont 211.