WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down many businesses, prompting sudden layoffs. We spoke with some of the people who went from having jobs to becoming suddenly unemployed.
At Alice Andrew Salon in Watertown, they’ve been told to put down their scissors.
“As a hair dresser, if I’m not standing behind this chair and working on somebody, I’m not making any money,” said Sherry Gilbert, hair dresser.
As required by the state, the salon is closed.
"We're shut down for now. We're trying to limit expenses as much as we can. We've turned off the heat, shut down and unplugged the fridge. Whatever we could to save money," said owner Shaynna Adams.
Adams says each hair dresser there rents a chair from her, so they are self employed, meaning they can't apply for unemployment. But no work equals no income.
"It's been really hard to say what if. What if I get this bill? What if something happens," said Adams.
And meanwhile, those eligible for unemployment are waiting for help.
"It sucks because I'm a single mom, so as being a mother, I know it's really hard to provide for other families," said Ashley Lamourt, who was laid off from Maggie's on the River.
But while her request is pending, Lamourt and her 8 year old son look forward to the day mom can work again.
"Maggies is my home so I'd just like to get back to that," she said.
Both businesses say they have loyal clients and customers, and they hope when this is over, business comes back with a boom.
“Let’s just keep our fingers crossed and pray that this doesn’t go forever, but everyone’s got to stay healty,” said Gilbert.
The stimulus bill passed in Washington Wednesday may have unemployment benefits that would be extended to the self-employed.