But he too is feeling the squeeze. Residents have stretched out the time between haircuts from about three weeks to more than five, and Thomas said his business is down 20 percent.
"A lot of people are embarrassed to ask. So when they call up and ask how much my haircuts are, I ask them if they are unemployed," Thomas said. "It's not much but it might give a family a little bit extra for Christmas. Five bucks is five bucks anyway you look at it."
There has been some recent bright news.
In December, the Mad Anthony Old State Ale House started interviewing people for jobs as cooks, busboys and servers at a new 1940s-style theater opening soon -- the jobs pay up to $10 an hour.
"It was snowing outside. We probably had 60 to 70 people standing in the snow waiting for a couple of hours ahead of time," said Jeff Neels, partner of the Mad Anthony Brewing Co. "We were just overwhelmed with the turnout. It was really a sight. I was just touched by the amount of people."
By the end of two days 650 people had applied for 140 openings.
Typically he sees college students applying for jobs. This time, Neels said there were a lot more out-of-work, blue-collar workers seeking a job.
Jean E. Perrin, who heads the work force and economic development program at Ivy Tech Community College, says that since September more than 800 people have met with her academic advising team, looking for ways to learn new skill sets.
They are taking advantage of $13 million in job-training grants given to the region. Some are trying to go into health care and others are learning more advanced manufacturing skills.
"It's not only an economic issue. It's also an emotional issue for people," Perrin said. "A lot of these people have worked in the RV industry for a number of years. I've been really impressed by people's spirit in a really adverse situation."