SHOREWOOD — Small business owners forced to shut down under orders from the governor now worry how they will pay their bills with no income.
"This is a healthcare crisis but make no mistake about it, this is also an economic crisis," said Mayor Tom Barrett.
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The coronavirus pandemic has small business owners like Caroline Kreitlow of Shorewood struggling. Hair salons and barbershops shut down Friday. Nearly five days before the governor's 'Safer at Home' order closed all non-essential business. It has left Kreitlow without an income. Her rent payment for Luxe Salon is due April 1st, like a lot of other businesses. Right now, she's not sure she'll be able to make that payment.
"I'm the sole provider for my home, which includes myself, my son, my elderly. If I have to walk away from the business, then I have to walk away from the business. But I have six other people who work at the business here that count on me, so that really isn't an option either," said Kreitlow.
The $2 trillion federal stimulus package includes help for small business owners. It would also allow banks to loan to small businesses. In some cases, they would not have to repay those loans. But that money is still weeks away from becoming available.
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said they are looking for a way to help business owners make it through.
"The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, on its website, has a big list of tools, explanations of what's out there and what's coming," said Abele.
Kreitlow hopes something comes before rent comes due.
"I did ask my landlord if I could have a little more time," said Kreitlow.
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