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‘I pay my bills off my tips’: Unemployed and uncertain after businesses close their doors

Employers have had to make drastic changes following COVID-19 outbreak

SAN ANTONIO – Businesses across the country have been forced to close and millions of people are without a job. Elizabeth Holt had been a server since she was 15-years-old.

However, Holt never expected she would be where she is now.

“You never think of situations like this,” she said.

Holt said she received a letter from her management team at Applebees. The letter stated she was being discharged from her position. Like so many others amid the coronavirus pandemic, Holt found herself without a job, with her family living on a fixed income.

“We live off my tips. I pay my bills off my tips,” she said.

Holt and her husband rent their home. However, she is worried how her unemployment will affect their future.

“Even though they say they kind of put a stop on evictions, what are they going to do when all of this is over?" she asked.

Karan Bhanot is a department chair and professor of Finance at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He said Holt’s worries are not uncommon.

“It’s really a tough time for low-income families in the U.S,” he said.

Bahnot said the first thing people should do is evaluate their current finances.

“The first thing I’m looking at is what do I have right now. Where am I at right now?” he said.

Bahnot believes many people will have to deal with a financial fall out. He suggested people adjust their payments or work with creditors.

“Everybody is willing to make allowances at this point in time,” he said

Holt said she has already begun to look for another job but is unsure what the workforce will look like in the weeks ahead.

“We got to stay strong and not stress but under these circumstances. I don’t want to fall behind,” she said.