FARGO, N.D. - (Valley News Live) Children of Hope Childcare moved into its north Fargo building last year to expand the services the daycare offers.
“We don't know what the future holds. We are literally a week by week daycare,” Faith Dixon, the owner and office administrator, said.
Dixon and her sister Hope Sheppard run the business and they said they’re having second thoughts on opening ever since the coronavirus pandemic hit. It’s impacting their business really hard.
“We’ve had to lay off four staff members at this time. Just because the children are not present,” Dixon said. “You know, we are a little nervous about the income, part of the daycare running.”
Dixon said Children of Hope went from having 74 kids enrolled in their program to about 10, which is a lost of income they desperately needed.
“If they don't make payments, we can't make staff,” Sheppard, who’s the director, said. “We can't keep our doors open. We can't pay lights. We can't pay rent, so it's really putting us in a bind.”
The daycare told us they've had to turn kids around who have cold or flu like symptoms. A decision that has also been hurting its bottom line
The sisters’ business could be one of many small businesses that could benefit from the $2 trillion federal stimulus bill, although its failed to progress for the second straight day in the United States Senate.
Dixon and Sheppard said they aren’t counting on the federal government to step in. Instead, they want North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum to do more for childcare providers.
One idea they mentioned is for the state to still pay daycares for the kids who aren’t in school and get their tuition partially paid for by the state through its childcare financial assistance program.
“If they don't find a way to continue to help us stay afloat, I don't think that we will be able to,” Sheppard said.
But whatever action is taken, both women said state and federal leaders need to act fast in lending a helping hand for small businesses so they see this pandemic through until the end.