This week Woonona business owner Wayne Cooke had $86 in the bank.
He doesn't know when more will come in, despite applying for the government's business relief grants.
"I rang Service NSW and they said they couldn't give me a time for how long it would take to process," he said.
"Can you imagine not being paid for six weeks?
"Scott Morrison gets on the television and says people are getting payments within an hour, it takes longer than that to fill out the forms.
"I don't want easy street, I just want something to make ends meet until we can get up and running again."
Mr Cooke owns Extreme Carpet Cleaning, and said the kind of work he was allowed to do had changed frequently, and dramatically, over past weeks.
After a period of not working at all, he is now allowed to clean empty houses, mostly through real estate agents, however payment for that work can take a month to process.
"When things reopened last year, although we weren't back to 100 per cent, we got to maybe 70 per cent between December and March," he said.
"It's gone from that to the three week Clayton's lockdown when we could still work a bit.
"From July 17 I thought I was down and out because I couldn't work.
"Then the health orders changed and I could clean vacant properties."
In the meantime, he has had to borrow money to cover the cost of insurance and petrol so he can continue to work.
He also had to pay for a letter from his accountant in order to apply for a relief grant.
He started his carpet cleaning business in 2004, and said he felt for younger businesses who wouldn't have the same amount of reserves as he had.
"The first 12 months of business you expect to be tough, not 18 years down the track," he said.
"I'd probably rather start again in all honesty. I've been through the global recession, floods and fires and survived, but COVID is a different kettle of fish.
"We're not six weeks from the start of that initial Clayton's lockdown, I've seen no funding and other small business owners I know have seen no funding.
"I know a couple that have closed shop because they can't carry it."
Mr Cooke said he'd had an easier time than some other businesses owners he knew, but said the toll of uncertainty on people's mental health was not to be taken lightly.
"I have my health, my children and my partner, and at the end of the day we'll survive," he said.
"There is light at the end of the tunnel, it's just a matter of hanging on, and of having the resources to hang on.
"It's tipping some people over the edge."
He's also concerned about the long-term impact of reduced income on business owners' ability to borrow money in future.
"If you've taken a hit of 30-40 per cent, and next year you need to apply for a business loan, a home loan, or a car loan, are the banks going to take that into account?"
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