Detroit salon owner struggles to pay rent during coronavirus outbreak

Nicole Florence can’t open salon due to COVID-19 safety measures

DETROIT – Rent was recently due for the second time since the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak hit Michigan and small business owners are feeling the pinch.

Landlords said they have costs to cover too. A salon owner in Detroit is worried about what will happen next.

MORE: Michigan governor extends stay-at-home order, restarts manufacturing, outlines reopening plan

Small business owners have had to lay off workers -- and file for unemployment themselves. With no money coming in the bills are piling up. Some owners are worried they may eventually face eviction.

Nicole Florence owes her landlord $1,400 in rent -- money she doesn’t have because she can’t open her salon.

“He basically told me, ‘There’s help out there, figure it out,'” Florence said. “'File unemployment and grants, do this and that.'”

And like many newly unemployed, that has been an uphill battle. She said her landlord threatened to evict her.

“I did not say she was getting evicted,” landlord Moses Jacob said.

Jacob owns the building and the market next door. He said he told all his tenants to pay what they can for the time being.

“Sooner or later things got to be paid, 'cause when that tax bill comes in, what happens,” Moses.

“If you call down and want to set up an arrangement to pay taxes you can do that. You can’t get a break and not give me one, that’s not fair,” Florence said.

Florence said she invested in that property because she grew up in the area and spent $10,000 renovating before opening.

READ: Coronavirus in Michigan: A timeline of closures, event bans, stay-at-home orders

“I had to paint, scrape out lead, floors had to be lifted, carpet pulled up. Since I invested time and energy into this project that he would be more understanding,” Florence said.

“We all hurting, no one is escaping that,” Moses said.

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