ANNA (WSIL) --- Tracy Craig has been cutting hair for the past 38 years but the only thing she's cutting nowadays is grass.
"I have been mowing yards, I have been hauling decks, I have been cleaning brush," Craig said.
Krazy Kutz in Anna has been closed since Illinois' enacted a stay-at-home order in March. With the order now extended through May, her salon is closed for another month meaning less income for her business.
MISSING THE PEAK
"This is a peak time right now for hairdressers," Craig said. "We've lost our graduations. We've lost our proms."
Craig received a $1200 federal stimulus check two weeks ago but it's depleting quickly. After making payments on her house and utilities, she has roughly $200 left for groceries and other necessities.
"You have a choice between losing the things at your home.. not eating or taking a chance on getting COVID," Craig said. "It's kind of a lesser of two evils."
JOINING A FACEBOOK GROUP
Running out of options, she went online and added herself to a Facebook group called 'Join the Lawsuit Against Illinois Governor JB Pritzker'. The group has more than 25,000 members since the page went live on April 28.
Craig created a post on the page to air out her grievances, like not being able to live month to month and difficulty paying rent.
"I can't seem to get through on the unemployment line... I can't receive a person to talk to about the self-employment and our situation," Craig said.
News 3 reached out to the group for comment but haven't heard back.
There's a wall inside the salon that Craig calls her lifeline. It's where she keeps family pictures, business cards and notes from customers.
That wall is a reminder that she isn't fighting this battle alone. Since the salon closed, customers have been reaching out, leaving cards in the mail, some containing cash.
But Craig considers herself to be a giver and not a taker. So far she's gotten $735 from customers, money she plans to give back. She hopes Illinois can reopen salons soon or else risk losing business to places like Kentucky and Missouri, states where salons are open.
"You get far behind and you can't get caught up, what are you going to do?", Craig said. "We need to all stick together and figure out a way to get us back open."