COVID-19 could mean the end for some American dreams

Austin Brown says just as his business began to see some success, COVID-19 put a halt on...
Austin Brown says just as his business began to see some success, COVID-19 put a halt on everything and now he's left without income. (WJHG/WECP)(WJHG)
Published: Apr. 9, 2020 at 5:48 PM CDT
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Austin Brown started his own business American Affordable Gutters in January alongside his brother and cousin.

“Small businesses is what the American dream is,” he said.

Now his American dream is hanging in the balance thanks to COVID-19.

Brown said, “yeah it was a lot of hard work. We were slow at first. We didn’t get any business for probably about the first two months and then once we hit that two month mark, we were getting like four or five jobs a week.” He has since gone from getting up to eight calls a day, to zero.

“So that was a huge, huge decline and then a lot of our business is door to door sales so with this happening you can’t have a door to door sales guy during this nationwide, or worldwide, pandemic,” Brown said.

Today thousands of dollars of his equipment sits unused, that’s why he applied for the paycheck protection program only to be turned down because he said his small business doesn’t have a professional pay roll service.

Brown said, “we did the SBA loan and it’s gonna take what they say up to three or five months to even get any kind of money. So I mean obviously when this pandemic is over that money is not gonna be necessary, so what do we do in the meantime?”

Like many other small businesses, Brown has found himself in unknown territory, unsure of what the future holds.

“I don’t want to fail, I'm going to fight and do everything I can to keep this business and to stay afloat but it’s a lot of hard work and if we don’t get any money then we might just end up saying ‘see ya later’,” he said.

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