Milwaukee businesses cope with no revenue on first day of 'safer at home' order

NOW: Milwaukee businesses cope with no revenue on first day of ’safer at home’ order

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- While some sectors like construction, hospitals and grocery stores continued with business as usual Wednesday, KingsHead Hair Salon owner David Lemke has a different workflow.

“I’m calling clients that have been booked for the next month," Lemke said. "And there’s probably over 100 clients I've got to be calling, to let them know that we can’t, see if we can’t get them rescheduled until after April 24.”

Lemke says he now has $20,000 in fixed costs this month with zero revenue. He told his 16 employees to file for unemployment.

“This is a tough thing for them because they’re on an hourly rate," Lemke said. "You know they’re not renting a space or anything. So they’re all on hourly rates, so they’re affected by this. They don’t have any income.”

David Vazquez rents space at his establishment for barbers. They were allowed to continue working until the state stepped in and shut the industry down because of coronavirus.

“Where there’s no income, you know that brings a lot of things where your calendar is very aware of bill dates, and due dates, and our routine is just at a total stop,” Mr. V.'s Barberia owner David Vazquez said.

Vazquez says he can already see a compound effect from a wide range of stores shutting down in the West Allis community.

“We’re a business that feeds off the communities health," Vazquez said. "So when the community stops, that reflects us and every other service, person to person business. So we go as the community goes.”

Now that they can no longer operate, several store owners told CBS 58 they have started looking to Washington to see if they can capitalize on new small business loans.

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