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Small businesses worried about surviving extended stay-at-home order

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Governor Laura Kelly has pushed back the statewide stay-at-home order to May 3. It was supposed to end Sunday. Governor Kelly said she made the move because Kansas has not hit it’s projected peak of the coronavirus. The announcement has already struggling small business owners wondering if they can hang on just a little longer.

Barber Marvin Oakley Jr. was anxiously counting down the days until he could reopen his barber shop to service his clients and restore his livelihood.

“I’m just trying to make it the best I can,” said Oakley Jr, manager at 21st Avenue Barber Shop in Wichita. “I know I’m not the only one going through it, but right now, it’s kind of hard with no income coming in at all.”

He’ll have to wait longer to see some cash flow now that Governor Laura Kelly has extended the stay-at-home order May 3. Oakley Jr. said he applied for unemployment but that still has yet to come. He’s been able to survive this long by relying on his savings.

“I’ve just been blessed to have that right now, but I don’t know how much longer I can make it.”

Other small business owners like Bryan Voigt at Hero Haven a Toy and Comics shop in Wichita said not being able to recover from the financial fallout of COVID-19 is a huge fear.

“We’ve lost a lot of sleep over the past few days weeks,” said Voigt.

As he watches the bills pile up, he’s considered looking into business loans to make ends meet.

“Because the landlords and utilities are still going to want to be paid even though we are going to be closed basically a month,” said Voigt.

His biggest hope right now is that when this is all over, they can return strong.

“That we have a really good opening week so we can recover what we lost for the past month,” said Voight.

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