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Omaha pawn shops stay busy amid pandemic as people need cash

(WOWT)
Published: Apr. 13, 2020 at 3:21 PM CDT
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Thousands of people were working until COVID-19 sent them to the unemployment line.

Many of those people need money and a growing number are turning to pawn shops to get it, as they wait for help from the federal government.

For many unemployed workers in the Metro-area, the federal stimulus checks can't come fast enough.

Jeremy Holtberg is the owner of E-Z Pawn and Jewelry.

He says he has never seen anything like this before. He says many people who lost their jobs because of COVID-19 need money and they need it now, and some are turning to pawn shops to get it.

“There’s no waiting, there's no pre-approved or anything like that. It’s all based on an item you might bring in,” he said.

Jeremy says there has been an increase in his pawn business, but Jeremy believes things will get worse for workers who have lost their jobs due to the virus.

“I feel like society hasn't felt the impact of what this time is going to do to people. I feel like it’s a little too sudden,” he said. “You’ll probably see a larger influx of people coming in further down the road when it hurts a lot more.”

Jeremy says right now he’s happy to be working and happy to continue to help his employees earn a paycheck.

“With everything going on, small businesses are getting hurt really bad, it’s nice to be an owner of a small business that’s able to be open and help other people.”

Jeremy tells us he has reduced the hours his shop is open but his employees are still working.

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