Pawn shops to remain open during pandemic


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — Governor Pritzker’s stay at home order requires any non-essential business to close down.

The executive order outlines which industries will stay open. 

“We are the people’s bank,” Michael Young, owner of Stevenson Drive Pawn Shop, said. “We are the oldest banking system in the world, so we knew we would probably be essential, but it’s good to hear it.”

Jewelry stores, electronics stores and sports stores may be closed down, but pawn shops across the state…like Stevenson Drive Pawn Shop in Springfield.. that offer similar products will still be open.

They offer something others don’t.

“We serve short term loans that banks wouldn’t be willing to do the paperwork on,” Young said. “You can come in, get a short term loan. Pay it back in 30 days, or even 60 days. It’s essential. We get everyone from small business owners, to people that need gas money for the week.”

Those short term, collateralized loans can come in handy for people whose jobs were deemed non essential.

The pawn shop owners weren’t positive they would make the list, but now that they know they can stay open, they are taking necessary precautions for the safety of themselves and their customers.

That way, they can continue offering their services during a time people may need them more than ever.

“We have seen a lot of people lately that know they will be unemployed,” Young said. “They got to feed their families. They have to take care of their bills still. Feed their families. They just need that little bit of money.”

Pawn shops are both federally and state-recognized financial institutions, and the loans they give out are regulated.

Interest rates don’t start to kick in until normally about a month or two after closing.

Pawn shops join the list of places like grocery stores, auto repair shops and hardware stores that can stay open under the stay-at-home mandate.

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