Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons | Abandoned parking lot near a business by BFS Man
By Griffin Winter’21
Hugh Dubberly ’21 woke up to a note from his employer, Urban Air, informing him of a change in his employment due to COVID-19. “On March 18th, I was sent out a notice by my manager that stated we were going to be shutting down and would not reopen until the public schools did,” Dubberly said. He works at Urban Air, a trampoline park in Ahwatukee. He is not receiving any compensation from his work during the course of the virus. Dubberly went on to say “I get why they did this but it still sucks.”
On March 27, the United States Senate passed a historic $2 trillion stimulus package to assist Americans across the country who are being impacted by COVID-19.
The package includes a $350 billion loan program for small businesses. The money can cover monthly expenses like payroll, rent and utilities. Small businesses across the valley provide jobs to 550,000 people, including many Brophy students.
Ethan Hasson ’21, an employee at Vincent’s Market and Bistro, had a similar experience to Dubberly. “My boss told me on March 19th that Vincent’s would be closing for the remainder of March and that its situation would be reevaluated in April,” Hasson said. He will also not receive compensation while at home due to the virus.
Even students who work for larger employers like Cooper Brown ’20, who worked at Wildflower Bread Company, have been told not to come to work since March 18.
“It really feels like a slap in the face to all of the chances I didn’t take because I thought I’d be able to act on them around this time,” Brown said. “Face to face time with friends, leading Kairos, going to concerts and First Fridays and even small stuff like going to work and seeing my coworkers have all been taken away from me.” He continued that he feels for the workers who are out of a job.
These stories are the new normal to many Americans who were working in any position in the workforce. Some people have the fortune of working from home, during this virus, but others are not so lucky. A record-setting 6.6 million people filed for unemployment last week according to an article by Dominic Rushe and Michael Sainato at The Guardian. In a study done by The Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 30% of people can work from home.
This is not only a hard time for employees but employers as well. “We’ve had to place some of our employees on partial unemployment and bring the staff down because I can’t afford to pay all of my employees,” said Mrs. Lynn Amoia, the owner and founder of American Physical Medicine, a physical clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The government’s new stimulus package will help all aspects of the economy, at least in the short term offering people money during the pandemic. Both Hasson and Dubberly said that the government needs to help out the people during this crisis and that hopefully, the government will find more and more solutions to help out the American people.