Across the country, small businesses are facing big challenges, coping with COVID-19
Construction workers say their hours are being slashed, many storefronts are being boarded up, and dine-in restaurants are now strictly take-out.
”It’s impacted my business so bad,” said Eligio Gonzalez, who owns and operates Flash Burrito.
With stay-at-home orders keeping his customers away from Gonzalez’s food truck, the coronavirus crisis is impacting his bottom line.
“Normally it’s $700, $800 a day,” he said. “But now it’s very bad; $30, $20.”
Gonzalez says that’s not nearly enough income to cover his day-to-day costs – let alone keep his gas generator running.
About 17 million Americans filed for unemployment in the last three weeks – a number economists say could increase because of this outbreak.
Despite the American economy slowing down, there are a few entrepreneurs opening shops up.
Alex Frohne is an area manager for ACE Hardware. He helped open a store two weeks after his community went into quarantine.
“We’re right in the heart of downtown Denver,” Frohne said. “We were a little nervous with the virus going around but we are an essential retailer, so we were able to open.”
Despite being labeled essential, economic experts believe most businesses are facing many uncertainties.
“We don’t know when the virus is going to end. We don’t know when the quarantine is going to end. We don’t know if it’s going to come back,” said David Lynn Hoffman, Ph.D., a professor of management at Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Hoffman believes many small businesses are going to suffer for a very long time.
“I think we’re in for deep trouble,” he said. “The economy is in bad shape and it’s going to get worse.”
With millions of Americans recently filing for unemployment, those still working are grateful.
“I can’t imagine if I was left with no job. So, I’m really blessed,” said Juliana Garcia, who just landed a job at Ace Hardware as a cashier.
With many of her family members recently losing their jobs, Garcia feels lucky to earn an income even though it might not be enough to survive.
“It just makes me kind of sad,” she said. “I know my mom feels very anxious like, ‘oh, how are we going to pay bills? How we going to pay rent?’”
Those are questions the world is asking as this pandemic continues to impact our financial future.