Residents frequent pawn shops amid COVID-19 crisis

Local News

Local pawn shops are experiencing an uptick in business amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The COVID-19 crisis has many Americans strapped for cash, so many are hitting up local pawn shops.

Whether you are tight on money, looking for a loan or just looking for a deal, Joel Wallace, the owner of American Pawn in Baton Rouge, says they’re here to help.

“People are still coming in to pay bills so they can meet a car note and they can pay their rent,” Joel Wallace said.

Wallace has been more lenient with pricing since so many people are out of work. He says his goal is to help people stay on their feet during this tough time.

“They say look I got to have x amount of dollars because that’s how much I’m short on my rent or that’s what I need to make up my electricity bill,” Wallace said. 

He says people are pawning TV’s, jewelry and game systems. What’s bizarre is that’s also a hot item that many are looking to purchase.

“The phone rings all day long looking for PS4’s, XBOX’s, new games, just the kids are bored,” Mia Wallace said. “People aren’t working they don’t want to pay full price.”

Kids aren’t the only ones bored and looking for something to do. Many adults are in the same boat and are purchasing items to keep them busy.

“I’m a person who likes to move around and work with my hands, so just being in the house all day [isn’t for me], Dreco Johnson said. “I came to see if I can locate a good weed eater and lawnmower so I can work on my lawn and make it look better.”

For now, the shop will remain open and Wallace says he will continue to do what he can to help those in need.

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