I started my business in March of 2008. A small barbershop in Somersworth NH. At the time, I was sleeping in the hallway in the back of the shop, cooking on a hot plate, and bathing in a Rubbermaid bin with a hose I hooked up from the sink. I couldn’t afford an apartment and shop rent so I did what I had to do. I sold everything I owned to outfit the shop to open.
After a year, I made enough money to not only rent an apartment but also move to a bigger location in Dover and add a few barbers. Five years later, I opened a second shop in Rochester. I closed the Dover shop because of staffing issues and rent costs, and I am barley hanging on in Rochester. I closed on March 15th after a conference call with the N.H. SBA and DHHS. I was told I would qualify for unemployment and a small grant/loan to sustain my business. So far, I haven’t seen a dime even though I filed all paperwork over 3 weeks ago. Luckily, I am doing odd jobs to bring in enough money to pay some of my bills.
My trust in the government to help its citizens is at an all time low. I hate to pull the veteran card but I imagine there are millions of veteran owned business owners in the same position I am. I employ 6 people now, and if I don’t get any financial help soon, I may be forced to close as I don’t want to take out a loan and play catch up for years paying back money.
Rochester , NH