We should’ve known better than to trust our lovely representatives in Washington, D.C. to end this shutdown before we got 36, THIRTY-SIX!, days into it. Could you withstand that long (Christmas and New Year’s included) without pay?

We scoured our email and social feeds for all the generous offers that Charleston businesses are extending to federal workers affected by the month-long shutdown. Some are as simple as free beer or a free carriage tour to pass some time, others are dead serious, like putting food on dinner tables and stocking fridges with staples.

If your business is offering furloughed workers any benefits, leave them in the comments below and we’ll be sure to add. Thanks!


Charleston Animal Society in North Charleston is offering furloughed federal workers free dog and cat food. (CAS is always accepting donations to help as well.)

Inspired by Annette event company is offering to pick up any donations through the weekend. Call 843-735-4519 or 843-790-3630.

The Lowcountry Food Bank has packed and distributed more than 600 shutdown relief boxes for those affected, but they need donations to provide more. Donate online now.

Point Hope United Methodist Church in Mt. Pleasant is collecting gas cards for Coast Guard workers. Drop them off at the church at 3404 Turgot Ln.

A GoFundMe has been set up to benefit Coast Guard employees furloughed with money going to the non-profit, Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Incorporated.


Bay Street Biergarten is offering one percent off for each day of the shutdown. (Today is 36 days, so you get 36 percent off.) No “discounts” on local canned beer, so they’ll all be $4 for everyone until the shutdown ends.

Cru Cafe and Purlieu are offering 50 percent off for affected workers.

Freehouse Brewery in North Charleston is offering free beer for Coast Guard.

Glowfisch Hospitality restaurants (Ember, Five Loaves, Sesame) is offering 25 percent off for furloughed workers.

Low Tide Brewing on Johns Island is offering TWO free beers for furloughed workers.

Pour Tap Room on King St. is offering a free meal through Sun. Jan. 27.


Charleston Music Hall is offering BOGO tickets for furloughed workers to three upcoming shows, Ladysmith Black Mambazo (Sat.), Neko Case (1/30), and The Magpie Salute (2/5). Must purchase in person, call 843-853-2252 for info.

Several carriage tour companies in the Charleston CARES group are offering free carriage rides for furloughed federal employees thru Jan. 25. (Companies include Charleston Carriage Works, Old South Carriage Company, and Palmetto Carriage Works.)

College of Charleston is offering free tickets to basketball, baseball, and softball games through the shutdown for furloughed employees.

The Gibbes Museum of Art is offering free admission Jan. 26-27 for furloughed workers and their families.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is throwing a Coast Guard Appreciation Day on Feb. 2 that’s free to USCG employees and families.

Pounce Cat Cafe is offering free visits, coffee, and kitten snuggles for furloughed workers.

Terrace Theater on James Island is offering free matinee movie showings Mon.-Thurs. for furloughed workers.

Wild Dunes Resort is offering furloughed tricounty residents a free round of golf Mon.-Wed. afternoons. Call (843) 886-2301.

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