My hair salon provides wigs for cancer patients. I’m desperate for financial help to stay in business.

Small businesses need federal stimulus relief and a break on property taxes.

SHARE My hair salon provides wigs for cancer patients. I’m desperate for financial help to stay in business.
Jovita Carranza, administrator of the Small Business Administration, speaks about the coronavirus and its impact of small businesses. Many business owners are still waiting for loan relief.

Jovita Carranza, administrator of the Small Business Administration, speaks about the coronavirus and its impact of small businesses. Many business owners are still waiting for loan relief.

AP Photo | Alex Brandon

When Gov. J.B. Pritzker first announced the shelter-in-place mandate until April 7, I was fairly confident my business of 38 years would survive.But now that the mandate will last till April 30, and maybe longer, I can’t see how.

I am the owner of Shears To You Salon in Oak Lawn, and we specialize in helping people who have lost their hair to cancer and other illnesses.We work with Christ Hospital and Little Company of Mary, providing wigs for chemo patients.Most of our clients are not only dealing with cancer, but now, since we have been forced to close, they can’t even come for a wig to make them feel and look better.

Many are still working and are out in public.

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I feel helpless.

I am not only a sole proprietor but also a single homeowner trying to pay several gas, electric and phone bills, not to mention rent for my salon.I have not seen a dime from the government stimulus or Small Business Association loan that I applied for.It will be a struggle for many months to catch up to what I worked towards for 38 years.

The taxes worry me most.When property tax deadlines come around, I’m not sure how it will play out.I hope the added financial burdens won’t force me to leave my family and move out of Illinois. It is my home.

A delay in property taxes would be incredibly helpful in giving us breathing room to recover financially.Still, I can’t imagine that people will vote for a progressive tax.Adding another tax is only going to make it harder for us to recover, and it needs to be dropped from the November ballot.

We need relief, please!

Linda Leinweber, salon owner, Oak Lawn

We must be one America, now more than ever

In his prophetic Vietnam Era book, “The Arrogance of Power,” the late Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright described “two Americas:”

”One is generous and humane, the other narrowly egotistical; one is self-critical, the other self-righteous; ... one is inquiring, the other pontificating; ... one is judicious and the other arrogant in the use of great power.”

It feels like that today.One welcomes the newcomer, the other builds a wall to keep them out.One shelters in place at home, the other gathers in groups on beaches, in parks and other public spaces. One travels across state lines to share medical assistance, the other says “It won’t happen here.” One hoards supplies, the other shops for neighbors.

But we cannot afford to continue as two conflicting Americas.We need to be one America, E pluribus unum — out of many, one — in this current COVID-19 crisis.May we together make the right and only sane choice at this hour in our history.

Martin Deppe, Ravenswood Manor

Thank you, photographers

Thank you to Sun-Times photographers Ashlee Rezin Garcia and Tyler Lariviere who are out there on the front lines themselves creating beautiful, powerful images of Chicago’s new normal.

I’m grateful for you. Your work is helping me feel connected and part of my community’s experience even during quarantine.

Vanessa Caleb, Evanston

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