Up until recently, University of Canberra student Jacinta Quee relied on her after school-care work to put petrol in her car and pay her phone bill.
She received an email from her employers at the YMCA on March 30 that about 100 casual employees, herself included, would be let go.
The 19-year-old business and law student said the group email advising staff jobs would be reinstated once students returned to schools, was the only communication she received.
She said the YMCA had since reached out to inform her she's eligible for the JobKeeper payment, as she's been with the business for more than 12 months.
Eligible employers will receive the government incentive to continue paying staff up to $1500 a fortnight in the first week of May, with payments backdated to March 30.
Ms Quee said the stress of losing her income was compounded by social-isolation measures which has prevented her usually social group from meeting up.
With UC moving classes online in March, Ms Quee said maintaining motivation has been difficult.
"Other than a walk with a friend I'm not really going out at all," she said.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr revealed this week that the ACT's unemployment rate was set to double as a result of the coronavirus shutdown,
Federal government figures indicated about 6000 Canberrans had lost their jobs since widespread restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 came into effect in March.
Michael Peterson and Harry Block started an exercise physiology and personal training business together in February.
Working from Club Lime studio's in Mawson, Tuggeranong and Belconnen the 24-year-old university mates had combined clients to run around 60 sessions a week at the start of March.
Mr Peterson was just returning to work after two weeks of quarantine following an overseas trip when gyms closed.
His business partner had shown up to the gym the morning after Scott Morrison's tightening of restrictions on March 22. By midday that Monday the doors were shut.
Despite trying to reschedule appointments where they could, Mr Block said that week they were forced to cancel fairly crucial catch ups with clients.
"We see a lot of vulnerable clients with chronic conditions, which get progressively worse without attention," he said.
Mr Block said for their elderly clientele who have battled physical ailments for years, not getting this regular activity is detrimental to their mental health, too.
Mr Peterson said the loss of income in the first couple of weeks was "pretty significant" as the pair scrambled to set up a home gym at his parents' house in Weston.
This week, the pair have started to see business pick back up, with about a third of clients returning.
Mr Peterson said many of the personal trainers and casual employees they worked with haven't been nearly as lucky.
"They don't have access to the gym. They don't have access to equipment. Their work is gone," he said.
The pair are uncertain about whether they will qualify for any government assistance, as proving their income loss this early into their partnership has so far proved difficult.
"We're just doing the best we can with the situation we've been put in and we recognise that a lot of other people are a lot worse off," Mr Block said.
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