Small business owner, who sells universal cleaning product, still waiting on TWC help in pandemic

Investigations

Shelves that once supported an abundance of cleaning supplies lay sparse at a Home Depot in Warrington, Pa., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The hotels don’t call William Proeger anymore.

The 79-year-old sells a universal cleaning product, but hits to the hospitality industry during the coronavirus pandemic, especially in Central Texas, have dried up his business.

“They don’t want to buy cleaning supplies when they’re not cleaning,” Proeger said.

Proeger sent his work history to the Texas Workforce Commission after applying for unemployment, but he was denied. TWC determined he only worked one day last year, making $47.50 — and that’s only because of a day job he did with his son.

“I don’t have an employer, I am the business,” Proeger said.

Overall, more than three million Texans have filed for unemployment and more than $10.7 billion has been paid out in benefits.

As for Proeger’s situation, TWC spokesman Cisco Gamez notes that because Proeger is self-employed — the denial isn’t uncommon.

“Initially, when a self-employed person applies for unemployment insurance benefits, they will initially be denied because TWC does not have any information on their wages in our system,” Gamez said. “Their claim would then be converted to PUA and they would receive notification on their eligibility.”

For Proeger, the lack of answers is frustrating, though.

“I haven’t received a dime,” he said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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