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Small businesses struggling to make ends meet because of COVID-19

Posted at 10:35 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 23:37:02-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — As Coronavirus cases continue to climb across the country, small businesses are struggling to make rent.

The state has closed non-essential businesses to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Stores like Performances Studios in Antioch has been closed since March 21st.

Performance Studios has called Middle Tennessee home for more than 30 years. Inside you'll find costumes, wigs and makeup for theater lovers around the state.

TK Kelly has owned the store for just under two years, she said she's struggling to keep the lights on. She had to temporarily lay-off her 15 employees.

"Our normal rent is 18,000 a month, our landlord is working with us a little bit, but we’re in the process of getting him to work with us a little more," said Kelly.

Like many other small businesses, Kelly said she tried to applying for federal assistance but she says it didn't offer much help to cover the expenses.

"They changed the terms of it on Friday to where if we took it, we would literally be taking money out of our employees hands, so we didn’t take it," she said.

Kelly says there were other problems with the Paycheck Protection Program because as of this week the federal program ran out of money.

"My biggest fear is we’ll be shutdown in two months," said Kelly.

Performances Studios has been relying on online sales and a GoFundMe to help pay rent. Kelly is asking the government to think about small businesses and not just the large corporations during this time.

MORE TENNESSEE COVID-19 COVERAGE

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COUNTY-BY-COUNTY CASES IN TENNESSEE

What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.

Prevention

The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.