TAMPA, Fla. — With no end in sight to the longest federal government shutdown in US history, Tampa Bay area companies are stepping up to help furloughed workers.


At Gabby Q Cuts in Largo, owner Gabrielle Quinn is doing what she can to make sure U.S. Coast Guard members stay in "ship shape."

She's offering them free haircuts while they're working without pay during the shutdown.

"You know, they're going to work every day no matter what, so, you know, if I can do my part and help them out, that's what I want to do," said Quinn.

Dozens of offers are popping up with businesses and agencies, offering everything from concert tickets and child care to glasses of wine and free coffee.

Airbnb is also joining in. They are offering A Night On Us, a new program to support federal executive branch employees in Florida as well as nationwide who share their home or an experince on Airbnb during the ongoing federal government shutdown. 

The company said any federal executive branch employee in Florida who hosts either an experience or three nights in their home over the three months between December 18, 2018 and March 18, 2019 will get up to $110 extra.

And help is out there for federal workers' pets, too. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay is giving out free dog and cat food to government workers in need.

"It's important, because if you have people with pets that are having a hard time and can't afford to buy food for them, a lot of times what happens is they have to surrender the animal," said Danielle Ho at the Humane Society. "We would rather not have those animals coming in to the shelter — we would rather them stay with them."

Quinn said she's working to convince other businesses to join in the effort.

She talked to LFL Nutrition, located in her same building. They are now offering free nutrition shakes to Coast Guard members, as well.

"I hope this inspires somebody else to offer what they got, you know, what they've got to give," said Quinn.

In order to get some of the offers that are being advertised, you have to show an ID badge or proof of employee or furlough.

Here are just a few of the things being offered:

  • Gabby Q Cuts, 2310 Tall Pines Drive, Suite #220, Largo offering free hair cuts to U.S. Coast Guard members by appointment
  • LFL Nutrition, 2310 Tall Pines Drive, Suite #220, Largo offering free nutrition shakes to U.S. Coast Guard members
  • Humane Society of Tampa Bay, 3607 N. Armenia Ave., Tampa offering free pet food for furloughed federal workers
  • Sky Zone Tampa, 10137 E. Adamo Dr., Suite 800 B, Tampa offering free jumps to federal government employees currently without pay
  • Sips Wine Bar, Safety Harbor, offering free glass of wine and sweet treat to furloughed federal workers   
  • Beau and Mo's Chicago-style Steakhouse, St. Petersburg, free sandwiches for furloughed workers
  • The Florida Orchestra offering free tickets to furloughed government employees for Schubert concerts
  • Airbnb to offer $110 for any federal executive branch employee in Florida who hosts either an experience or three nights in their home from December 18, 2018 to March 18, 2019.
  • Straz Center, Tampa, FREE tickets to select performances for furloughed government employees while supplies last. Offer includes:
    • Kid Time presentation of family-friendly musical "Rosie Revere, Engineer". Sunday, 1/20 at 2 p.m.
    • Club Jaeb performance by singer/songwriter Carrie Newcomer, 1/21 at 7:30 p.m.
    • Jobsite Theater's production of Shakespeare's "Othello", 1/18 at 8 p.m., 1/19 at 8 p.m., 1/20 at 4 p.m.