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COVID-19 forces small businesses in Vegas to close permanently

Posted at 8:25 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 08:51:22-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — While Nevada may be moving closer to reopening, some small businesses in Las Vegas have already had to close their doors -- permanently.

One of those small businesses that have been forced to close is the Not Just Antiques Mart, located on Western Avenue near Charleston Boulevard and Interstate 15.

"We've been in business for years, we made it through the recession, and then along comes coronavirus, and we had no choice but to shut down," said co-owner Jessica Poole.

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Jessica Poole's mother, Renee Poole, opened the store in 2004.

While working as an estate liquidator, Renee Poole wanted to create a store with items from estates that were too small for their own sale.

Inside the store, you'd find things like cutlery, furniture, and art.

The store's massive building is fit to hold all the treasures, but the building recently left the owners with a big bill to keep paying.

"We can't wait for three months or four months not knowing what was going to happen, so we had to make decisions at the time, we couldn't wait," Jessica Poole said.

The store has now moved to the virtual marketplace, and are taking part in multiple auctions as a way to continue making a profit.

There is also a struggle for small businesses to get assistance during the pandemic, and an essential lifeline for owners is the Paycheck Protection Program.

The Nevada Bankers Association reports that there's been trouble with accessing the program's system and entering applications.

A portion of the association's statement Tuesday is below:

The SBA boasted 100,000 loans by more than 4,000 lenders for this latest round starting Monday. However, that's 25 loans on average, and there are more than 5,300 approved lenders. So, their own claim shows that about 20% of the lenders haven't been able to process a single loan. The question is, what has happened to those remaining lenders in processing the loans?

"Money ran out, and now that it's being refunded, I haven't heard anything. So, I don't think we're going to be one of the lucky ones," Renee Poole said.

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