Coronavirus takes toll on businesses, laid off employees

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The coronavirus is taking a toll on businesses and workers who have been laid off during the outbreak. 

Sam's of Gedney Way was all decked out for St. Patrick's Day, but no Irish eyes were smiling due to the coronavirus outbreak. Just two weeks ago, the popular White Plains restaurant still had customers. Now, it’s empty.

Owner Peter Herrero was forced to lay off almost his entire staff after business plummeted due to coronavirus concerns.He says he laid off 100 employees in the last five days.

"These are working-class people, they're concerned…they live paycheck to paycheck. they're hardworking people. They have two jobs,” he says.

Herrero is trying to keep his takeout business going with the five employees he has left.

He told his staff the minute things turn around, they have a job.

To help out the dozens of employees who are no longer there, Sam's of Gedney Way is offering them free food or any other resources that they might need.

Tom Carey is the president of the Westchester-Putnam Central Labor Body of the AFL-CIO. He’s calling on the state to cut laid off workers some slack when applying for unemployment insurance.

"Normally, when you apply for unemployment insurance benefits, you have to wait a week and then they will start. So the governor's office is saying they’re going to bypass that waiting week, which is going to help in every bit possible,” says Carey.

Economists predict millions of Americans will permanently lose their jobs as fallout from the coronavirus crisis.

MORE: LIVE BLOG - Coronavirus updates from the tri-state area and beyond 

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