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Government shutdown: Abilene impacts

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) - The partial shutdown of the federal government is being felt more and more across the nation, and the Big Country is not immune. With the shutdown being about funding, it's no suprise that groups who recieve government funding to operate are on high alert.

Groups like the Noah Project are still funded, for now. "We haven't been notified that there will be any delays or interruptions yet, but if it continues on, that would be the likely outcome", said the Noah Project's Ashlee Bradford.

The Noah Project has some money saved up, if the funding dries up. "We're all hoping that it doesn't, and that's why we work really hard to fundraise", says Bradford. That fundraising has helped with keeping some cash on hand, but it's earmarked for an expansion project.

At the other end of the spectrum, First Financial Bank is ready to help their customers who may have lighter wallets than usual.

First Financial's Will Christoferson explains, "If some of our customers have issues making those payments, we're going to do everything to make sure we can defer a payment for them if we need to. We're just going to give as many options as we possibly can to let them know, hey, just because you missed that first paycheck in a long time doesn't mean we're not here for you."

Whether it's through those deferred payments or offering lines of credit, the community response has been overwhelmingly positive, customer or not.

"We have a lot of these government workers and just people that aren't even customers with our bank", says Christoferson. "People are coming in and saying, 'Hey, thank you for watching out for us and watching out for the community.'"

It remains unclear just how long the shutdown might last, but for now, Abilene's furloughed workers appear to be in good hands.

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