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Coronavirus stimulus check comes as big relief for Roanoke businessman

Ernie Dale received his stimulus check Wednesday

ROANOKE, Va. – For Ernie Dale, times are tough.

As president of Roanoke Tours Incorporated, money is in short supply right now.

“The tours have all had to cancel due to the coronavirus and we’ve had to refund everyone," Dale said.

Not only that, but not all vendors are willing to offer refunds and others, he said, have already spent the money on payroll and other business expenses so they can’t offer refunds right now.

To get customers their money back, Dale has had to liquidate some of his personal assets.

“Bank accounts is what I’ve had to do. Then, of course, I sold my patio furniture,” said Dale. “It’s one of those things I knew I had to do. In a way, it’s sad, but in another way I don’t have to worry about getting (the furniture) painted.”

He used most of his $1,200 stimulus check to pay his taxes.

What's left will go towards his car insurance.

“It was very stressful when I saw this coming on. I lost a lot of sleep," Dale said about the economic downturn.

He hasn't decided if he'll continue his business after the pandemic.

Right now, he's just focused on trying to get through it.

“9/11, I survived that. Then, I survived the recession of 2008 but things seem to be harder this time,” said Dale.

If you haven’t received your stimulus check, you can track it here.