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"We have no money coming in." Arizonans desperate for answers as uncertainty grows

Posted at 10:53 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 01:53:44-04

Governor Ducey took questions for an hour at Thursday night's town hall, but more than 5,000 Arizonans had concerns they wanted addressed.

Everyone is living in the unknown, as the unprecedented pandemic upends daily life as we knew it at the end of 2019. Arizonans are looking to leaders for answers for the more questions that impact their everyday lives and longterm futures.

"I’m a hairstylist and a business owner," said Terri Cottrell who runs her own Paradise Valley salon.

Cottrell is living like many Arizonans.

"We’re at home and we are not doing anything," she said.

Last week, Terri voluntarily closed her salon.

"There’s no way to stay six feet away it’s not safe for us and it’s not safe for our families," she said. "Right now we have no money coming in."

As of now, Governor Ducey is still declaring hair and nail salons essential businesses in Arizona.

"I don’t know how it can be essential when you can shampoo your own hair. You can let your gray roots grow out a little bit," said Cottrell.

"Some people might say, well he’s looking out for small businesses like yours by allowing you to stay open. What do you think of that argument," asked ABC15's Zach Crenshaw.

"Well I can definitely see a side of that," said Cottrell. "But you are mostly in the salon and you are getting cancellations and people are scared to come in. So you are open but you're not open."

Cottrell is now technically unemployed, like tens of thousands of Arizonans and hundreds of thousands of Americans.

"Positions are few and far between. I've been searching," said 69-year-old Robert Miller.

Miller lives in Cave Creek with his wife, who is a nurse practitioner.

"I’ve been on unemployment since January. I get $240 a week which is the maximum payout on unemployment. The federal government has authorized an additional $600 to be included with unemployment, and I was wondering when that would begin," said Miller.

Miller's question was not specifically answered at Thursday’s town hall, because even the federal labor department is still working out the details.

Americans though, are in need of monetary relief now.

"It would help pay the bills that are current, as of yesterday, the first of the month," said Miller.

Miller knows things can get worse.

"My family is still back east. I have one son in New Jersey who is a doctor and another son out on Long Island," he said.

Olivia Christensen of Gilbert is concerned about her 3 kids, all under 16-years-old.

"The more people that go to the store, the more crowded it gets [and] the harder it gets to keep six people apart," said Christensen, who was an account before staying home with her children.

She wants the governor "to maybe designate one shopper per household."

Christensen told ABC15 she thinks Governor Ducey is approaching the COVID-19 crisis as a businessman.

"He’s trying to keep everybody open and maybe a little resistant to be drastic on the measures that need to be taken. But unfortunately, they have to be taken," she said, noting that she approves of Governor Ducey's overall response.

It is an unimaginably tough position - choosing between lives and livelihoods.

Both have already been lost.

But for many Arizonans the choice is clear.

"Stay inside and save lives," said Cottrell.

"Saving lives is more important than the money," said Christensen.