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Pawnshops see increase in customers searching for loans due to COVID-19 uncertainty

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – “People are out of work and don’t know when they’re going to get paid again,” said Billy Haywood, Managing Partner at A-OK Pawn and Jewelry.

As other business are closing their doors, pawn shops like A-OK Pawn and Jewelry are seeing a spike in customers, not necessarily for whats in stock.

“What we’re seeing is an influx of people who need a small to medium-sized cash loans to buy groceries with. Make sure they can get their phone bill is paid,” said Haywood.

People like Charles Dittrick are flocking there searching for some extra cash.

“They’ve helped me a bunch sometimes. I have to pawn my merchandise, but I buy it back,” he said.

Haywood says they started noticing the increase in loans once the coronavirus pandemic started to increase business closures. Both regulars and new people are flying to their store searching for relief.

“Cause people are hurting right now, I’m hurting,” said Dittrick. “That’s the only way I’ve been getting by in these times, now it’s turned turmoil I think,” he added in.

Saturday, Dittrick was able to buy his old guitar back. Nevertheless, he knows if he needs help, there are options.

“We specialize in those $200 loans it’s what we do and banks they don’t loan that type of money. We’re the go-to place to get that quick cash when you need to buy groceries,” said Haywood.

Due to the uncertainty of when businesses will return to normal, A-OK Pawn and Jewelry says they are freezing some pawned items to make sure customers can get them back.

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