Self-employed businesses still waiting on aid from state

Self-employed businesses still waiting on aid from state

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Small businesses and those that are self-employed across the region are looking towards top officials for help that was promised to them.

However, with clogged systems and thousands of requests, those same businesses like Joey Perry Martial Arts Academy, are still waiting for assistance.

“The delayed response has been devastating for everybody. You get responses for weeks saying ‘hey we got an application, we are going to let you know’ and you still don’t have the next step or anything," Owner Joey Perry said.

Many businesses either had to close their doors or readjust their business plans and now they don’t know how they are going to pay for their rent and other bills.

“I understand that the government is doing all that it can to help us but just the self-employed has probably gotten the short end of the stick," owner of Olga Hair and Lash Studio Olga Garcia said.

Working for yourself can have its perks, but during this pandemic, perks are hard to come by.

“These girls have trusted me as a business owner to protect them. And I have failed completely, and I feel very terrible about this," Garcia said.

As the owner, she is over a place filled with multiple self-employed women and even after applying for assistance, none of them have received a cent.

“The systems have crashed. There have been numerous attempts to apply," Garcia said.

Joey Perry knows this feeling. His martial arts academy saw the effects immediately.

“Here we are again, over six weeks after trying to figure most of those things out. Still haven’t received any funding," Perry said.

Both owners are adjusting while waiting on a miracle.

“Hopefully we will be able to issue checks here in the next couple of weeks.” Secretary of Commerce, Mike Preston said in a news conference Monday.

But, state officials say it’s going to take some time.

“Two-three weeks, people will lose their home, people will lose their cars and there will not be any food on their table for their kids," Garcia said.

“Thinking about going a few more weeks without any funding or self-employment funding, it’s going to be a real struggle," Perry said.

Perry says he teaches positivity and he has remained positive. But, the process has been a lot.

“As emotional as I get thinking about not wanting to lose them, making sure they have a place to keep training and keep improving their life, I guess that’s what keeps me motivated. But, The reality is there,” Perry said.

Reality is settling in; not knowing if they will still be standing when this is all over.

“My faith is very strong. God has a plan for all of us. There is light at the end of that tunnel. We have to rejoice when we are in the storm," Garcia said.

Both Perry and Olga have been in their fields for about 30 years or more, they say they have weathered many storms but this one has been their toughest.

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