Small business owners left with many questions during COVID-19 shutdown

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Small business owners may be among those who are most economically impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

A local business is sharing their concerns amid the unprecedented situation. Kayla Syracuse is the owner of Studio K in Rockford, located at 1393 S. Alpine Road. Usually the salon is busy with customers but as of lately is it a ghost-town.

Syracuse did her part and closed the doors of her salon to prevent any possible spread of the virus. However, the situation is leaving business owners like her with more questions than answers.

“There are so many salons in this city, I mean it’s on every corner. We all turning to each other as to what we should do, and we don’t know,” Syracuse explained. “We don’t get paid to leave, we don’t get sick pay, we’re all self-employed.”

Meanwhile, Freeport is asking for the public’s help in assessing the finanical damages. They are asking small business owners to fill out a survey to share how much they have been impacted.

“The county and the city and the state know that this will have some significant impact on small businesses, and they want to try and mitigate some of those impacts as much as possible,” explained Bill Clow, the Business Engagement Director at the Greater Freeport Partnership.

You can find the survey here.

We reached to the Illinois Department of Employment Security but no one was immediately available to comment. The agency’s website says that workers temporarily laid off because of COVID-19 concerns can file for unemployment benefits. However, those who have voluntarily left work cannot apply.

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