No one was talking about the Dow hitting 30,000 when Pastor Ronnie Mills on Tuesday began handing out turkeys to hungry people on Lark Street. 

"So many people are out of work with the COVID disease and so many people are dying," he said through a blue mask around his face. "We've been doing it for five years and so it's an ongoing thing with us."

One by one at midday, strangers lined up to get a turkey. One by one, the turkeys came out of stacks of boxes and slid into grocery bags, handed over to people Pastor Mills just met. 

Mills and his Straightaway to Heaven Ministry gave out 200 turkeys to anyone passing by on the sidewalk. His wife Geraldine Sharpe-Mills says it was about giving people a brighter holiday amid a gloomy year. 

She held a homemade sign up to get the attention of people passing by on the sidewalk. "Free turkeys," it said in magic marker. 

"People are out of work, people just don't have the money to go out and get the things they want to get," she said. "They can't be with their families."

The holidays for poorer families are always more difficult. The coronavirus has disproportionately affected poorer people, Black and Brown people, people who have working class jobs. 

A resurgent coronavirus is leading to concerns of a deepening economic crisis in the country. Small business owners are concerned, and individual people are stepping up. 

"We're trying to give each family a turkey so they can have a wonderful and blessed holiday," Sharpe-Mills said. 

The pandemic economy has led to a need not seen since the Great Depression. And with the virus on the resurgence across the country. There are new concerns the jobless picture could become even worse.

In Washington, Congress is debating another economic stimulus package that could lead to relief for small businesses and people who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic. But the money has stalled since the spring amid political disagreements over whether to aid state and local governments.

A few blocks away from where the Mills were handing out turkeys, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has pushed Congress for more aid in order to stave off deep cuts to schools and social service programs. As with everything this year, uncertainty abounds.  

New York has made gains since the initial shutdown of non-essential businesses and schools in the spring, but this fall joblessness remained largely flat as the pandemic began its upswing. New York's unemployment rate in October stood at 9.6%.

That anxiety is being felt at the Metabolic Meltdown fitness center in Green Island. The gym could close once again as COVID cases rise in the region. Gym owners say they can operate safely during the pandemic Assemblyman John McDonald says it's not just about losing your workout. 

"These are small businesses as well," he said. "People tend to lose sight of that. We cannot afford for them to be shut down again and that's why although the numbers are on the rise, we need to do a deep dive on what's causing the issues."

Owner Matt Phelps employs about 40 people. But he's also concerned about the effect closing would have on the wellbeing of his 2,500 members. Like a lot of small business owners right now he's cautiously watching the COVID case numbers each day. Designating the area where his gym is an "orange zone" would trigger another closure like the one earlier this year. 

"A shutdown would be very devastating for our business," he said. "Not just from a business standpoint for us and the employment we provide who rely on this for their livelihood and their income, but the members. Being able to support their physical and mental health during this time -- that would be devastating."