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A Sarasota, Florida, tire store filed for bankruptcy protection after 45 years in business and left its 35 employees without a source of steady income. As reported by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune,

the business owner claims he had no choice; the abrupt closure of his store was because of the tough economic times and an inability to cover his expenses.

A tire mechanic employed by the company for 11 years came into work on the last day of operation and learned that the business’s doors would close permanently at 5 p.m. As he described it, the sudden loss of his job was a “slap in the face.” Another employee, a tire technician with three children, lost the income he relied on from working a full-time schedule each week. The circumstances these two men and their families face is not unusual; many retail stores across the nation have filed for bankruptcy and placed their employees in similar circumstances.

Many employees who find themselves suddenly out of work may find it extremely difficult to maintain any semblance of the lifestyle that they had managed with their former income. Mortgage payments, credit card debt and other bills may not get paid on time — or at all — while looking for a new job or taking on a temporary position for a much lesser salary. When unpaid debts become overwhelming, some displaced employees may consider filing a bankruptcy petition to ease their burden.

According to a Coresight report published in USA Today, 12,000 retail stores could close before the end of 2019. The employer with the largest number of retail store closures so far is the Payless ShoeSource chain with a total of almost 26,000 shut-downs.