Small business owners face squeeze from coronavirus pandemic

Cash-strapped businesses are waiting for economic relief from Congress.
5:48 | 03/26/20

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Transcript for Small business owners face squeeze from coronavirus pandemic
Many blind sided by all of this and looking for some can compassion. This congress finalized is that two trillion dollar economic stimulus plan and they are racing to get much needed cash to businesses that employ. Fewer than 500 workers America's thirty million small businesses those catering shops web design firms bookstores and yes. Even comedy clubs this Devin Dwyer discover the corona virus crisis is taking a told even on those whose primary purpose. Is to make us laugh. Stand up comedy has gone silent in the nation's capital it's not funny in on any instant me. Clear a pandemic no joke for small business owners like Alison Jaffe. It's been helping people laugh off their stress center DC in prof club for nearly twenty years. It's also nine. Healthy says just be in total fear. And panic. You know let that's gonna do more damage to U that's it no viruses can marry you but that feelings go. Hurry to after novel corona virus hit she canceled upcoming acts refunded tickets and laid off all fifty of her employees. Including her husband. We knew it was coming. But I I just you know send it and he's said Wallace the first eminently this month south. State house that's what habits when you. We're gonna Connie then marry a comedian. It they have that kindness which was funny so I have was saddened and I laughed and then analysts like our it will get through it it's been a nightmare. It's been in. I just got word I keep telling and saying is terrific. Many American small business owners say they're very worried about survival experts believe alleviating those fears is critical to stabilizing the US economy. Now in free fall. This crisis is one of the worst things I've ever seen for small businesses Karen mills led the US Small Business Administration to the Great Recession in recovery. It actually far exceeds. The problems that we had in 2009. And that's because. Half the people who work in this country. Own or work for a small business so so that's how hard jobs. And they have very little cash buffers on average they have about 26 states is of cash so this is really this is really her race. Is survived. Is absolutely because when you run out of cash is a small business you're dead. The cash crunch worries Adam water SE used bookstore owner in DC. He just completed a major renovation of his shop and has little savings and reserves. Having people stop. Coming to space it is necessary for health health and safety but it. It has dramatically stop how dramatically has the business dropped off 30% 50%. I think. Closer to probably closer to semi 5% water is laid off four employees this month. He's doing all the candy keep three others on payroll. He's nervous about taking on more debt with new loans that says that new stimulus plan might help. It seems like that might be happening we think is important that there. Giving certain provisions to small businesses congress is expected to send more than 350. Billion dollars in emergency loans to small business owners. And with a major perk they won't have to pay back the government free use the money to pay rent or their workers. Day. Two seats yeah. It was looking good there were few curious own owns one of the only women owned distillery is in the world. She makes her craft vodka and Burbank in the shadow of the US capitol where she used to work as chief of staff to then congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Crisis management and spend Alice Cullen pounds. In India is seen Hollister you weren't backer. I didn't see your house passed you do find it moments later he didn't otherwise. The question. All parties would not surprise us in any you know Rudy. Easy for now survival means making hand sanitize or. Hillary we're uniquely positions you have on hand to he had. One of the meaning. Can't cleaner. Harris owns distillery churning out small bottles of homemade shell. Philly of 1000 gallon ordered just this week from the DC government for police and EMS. Organized we'll brilliantly each other and is ourself. And she's always there was wearing when he very very relaxed he who I mean sure today he shot and. The White House since some economists are pushing to lift the business shot down as soon as possible president trump said he knew goal of Easter April 12 weeks ahead of what many public health experts say. May be safe. Would you support that. I would say now points unsafe I don't that's not. I think responsible for me as a business owner and another trumps gonna know that. I would I would rather hear from I'm really hear from DC and they're from their browser and and other DC health officials and I would them for you. Looking at this. Panic that your have to shut for good. So I am trying to say very positive I believe and the power of comedy it's depressing to see it. Totally empty but I know that we rule not always. It's that spirit of determination combined with the financial boost from government a cause for cautious optimism. But despite a financial body blow from the virus small businesses can survive. And continue to thrive. I know will be filled with people again that wanna be here that in wanna laugh that need a last. And I mileage Florida that day meeting and hopefully sooner than later yeah. It's for ABC news live I'm Devin Dwyer in Washington. Yes we could all certainly use a good laugh our thanks to DeVon at.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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