Friday, January 25, 2019

New Charleston reps urge local businesses to give back to communities affected by government shutdown

Local restaurants and coffee shops have offered discounts for affected workers

Posted by Adam Manno on Fri, Jan 25, 2019 at 1:33 PM

click to enlarge Krystle Simmons (left) and JA Moore are among the Charleston area's new state representatives - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Krystle Simmons (left) and JA Moore are among the Charleston area's new state representatives
[Reporter's note: On Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump and Congress reached a deal to open the government until Feb. 15, but if lawmakers don't agree to fund a border wall by that point, "the government will either shut down again on Feb. 15 or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws of the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency," Trump said.]

Two newly-elected state representatives from the Lowcountry are urging local businesses to help out their neighbors who were affected by the federal government shutdown, which today reached its 35th day.

At a press conference at North Charleston City Hall Friday afternoon, Reps. J.A. Moore (Goose Creek) and Krystle Simmons (parts of Ladson, Goose Creek, and North Charleston) congratulated local businesses who have stepped up with deals, specials, and discounts for families going through a hard time during the shutdown.
As of today, 800,000 federal workers are going without a paycheck for the second time this month, according to the New York Times.

"On average, that's about $5,000, and see, I'm not so far removed from living paycheck to paycheck," Moore said. "What is so inspiring to me is that local restaurants here in the Lowcountry, and all over South Carolina, have already been doing things individually to help our federal workers. I know 50 restaurants and vendors have already fed the TSA workers at the Charleston airport."

Moore says he took it one step further by partnering with Lowcountry Local First, a Charleston-based nonprofit, to coordinate assistance for struggling workers.

You can visit LowcountryLocalFirst.org/shutdown for an updated list of deals.

On Thursday, two competing bills to end the shutdown — one backed by President Trump that included $5.7 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and one backed by Democrats for a temporary re-opening without a wall — failed to get enough votes in the Senate.

The shutdown began on Dec. 22 as part of Trump's plan to pressure the legislature into building a full wall across the border, a major promise in his 2016 presidential campaign.

Joining Moore and Simmons on Thursday was Michael Shemtov, the local restaurateur behind Butcher & Bee, The Daily, and Mellow Mushroom locations throughout Charleston.

"At J.A.'s encouragement, we're gonna be feeding the children of furloughed employees and those working without pay at no charge, and steeply discounting the meal of the parents," Shemtov said. "I know, probably, going out to eat is not necessarily at the top of these people's minds, but they probably also need to get out, and dining out is partially nutritious and partially an escape from the things going on around."

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