Partial government shutdown takes toll on Bay Area families, businesses

The partial government is taking a toll on families and business, including one Oakland café that is losing customers and a local crediting union that is offering to help Coast Guard families.

For more than 11 years, City Cup Café has served customers on Jefferson Street across from the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Oakland. Owner Sam Samhouri said the majority of his customers are government employees that have been furloughed during the shutdown. In the past three weeks, he said business is down 60%. He’s been forced to cut employees’ hours, cut orders, and sometimes close early.

“Without the contractors, I’d be closed early. I’d be totally closed,” Samhouri said.

While businesses are struggling, government employees are too. It’s they the Sea West Coast Guard Federal Credit Union is offering zero-interest loans for 30 days to all Coast Guard personnel, including non-members that are active duty, civilian, and retirees, according to President and CEO Tom Doherty.

“We're here for them. They're here for us,” Doherty said. “They're saving lives every day of the year somewhere around the world… and we're glad to help them.”

Doherty said the credit union will offer skip payments too.

“We're not going to require payments if they don't get their paychecks,” he said. “We'll just roll it over to next month, no extra charge for it.”

He said Sea West will extend the offers if the shutdown keeps going. 

Right now, there’s no end in sight and that’s a problem for Samhouri’s business.

“We need the government to open back again,” Samhouri said. 

The government shutdown is now in its third week and is the third longest in U.S. history.