DETROIT (WXYZ) – With hundreds of thousands of layoffs across the state due to COVID-19, some residents of the Detroit subway are turning to pawn shops for quick cash.
Under the executive orders of Governor Gretchen Whitmer, pawn shops are considered essential. They loan administrator. So companies like American Jewelry and Loan in Detroit are still open and provide a financial service they believe is essential.
“People come because they need to go to the grocery store,” owner Les Gold told 7 Action News, “So the people who pawn their goods need the money. yesterday a woman came in with a need for $ 50. for her ring (and) thanking me because now she had money to go to the grocery store. “
The owner of Hardcore Pawn Fame says he knows the challenges small businesses and individuals face.
“We have put half of our employees on leave,” Gold said. “You know, we feel bad about it, but with the downturn in business, you have to understand how to run a business and still be profitable.”
He added: “We are really trying to help the public and the people who need the money the most.”
To do so, Gold says he’s following social distancing guidelines. Signs directing people to stand at least 6 feet from each other are posted in many places. Workers wear masks, disinfect surfaces and no more than 14 customers are allowed in the store at a time.
He says the store is actually less busy and less loans have been requested because people are doing less recreationally, but Gold says the loans requested are unnecessary.
“And so what we’re going to offer is that for all new customers that take out a loan with us, we’re going to give them the first month for free. No interest,” Gold explained.
He added: “I see them battling this virus. It’s a very bad thing, and I want to make sure that my employees, my customers, my family are all safe.”
Instead of a 90-day loan, Gold says it will extend that window for another 30 days.