With businesses shutting down or laying off employees because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people say they're literally in survival mode.
Ralph Avallone, a contractor, and Allyson Luckner walk together as one through tough times. Both are out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's been absolutely phenomenal over the past four years. Phone ringing off the hook, I can't keep up with the leads. And all of a sudden three weeks ago the phone stopped ringing," he said.
Was he surprised? Yes. But more surprised by how quickly jobs dried up. Avallone says he sat down in front of a computer and started emailing hundreds of customers.
"I sent out 400 emails and got not one response," Avallone said.
New unemployment numbers show an additional 277 thousand Floridians filed unemployment claims last week.
Allyson Luckner is a personal trainer. She is one of those who applied for unemployment.
"I finally got through so I haven't heard anything back from them yet and this was over a week ago," she said.
At the moment, Luckner says she has no income but she still has bills.
"The gyms closed for one so we're unemployed. So it took a real big toll out of me and my financial situation," Luckner said.
The federal government is looking to keep small businesses and its workers afloat. In part with its 349-billion dollar payment protection program, money set aside to pay workers through the pandemic disruptions.
For now, Avallone says unemployment is not an option.
"I'm a sole proprietorship so I am not an LLC or an S corporation so I don't qualify for anything," he said.
Both Avallone and Luckner say they are concerned about the future. Yet, as optimists, they believe they will overcome their current situations.