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Closing at 8 p.m.; Non-essential businesses adjusting to new mandate

Posted at 2:57 PM, Mar 23, 2020

LEXINGTON, KY (LEX 18) — The newest mandate from Governor Andy Beshear has business owners scrambling to find alternate revenue streams. All non-essential businesses are being forced to close their doors to the public at 8 pm on Monday.

Don Franklin Auto Group has an on-line purchasing option For the foreseeable future, that will likely be the only way of selling automobiles. A spokesperson for the auto group tells LEX 18 that their service stations, as allowed by the Governor, will remain open. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving the house, they will even pick up and drop your vehicle off once work is completed.

Other local business owners, including the area's vape shops, have gone to the curbside and delivery methods of getting products to their customers.

“We’re offering curbside service at all our Lexington locations and our Louisville location,” said Tony Florence of 723 Vapor. “Fortunately we’ve always been doing a robust delivery service,’ he added.

Florence understands his business is non-essential. However, he has employees he’s trying to protect during these times of terrible uncertainty.

“We’re a local business and I’ve lived here my whole life,” Florence noted. “The goal is to make sure the people who take care of me – my employees – still have a job."

Florence would also like to protect those from reverting to an old, bad habit; the same habit that killed his father.

“Cigarettes kill almost a half million people in the United States every year, so the goal is to keep our customers well stocked so they can keep off the cigarettes,” he said.

Owners of all non-essential businesses around Kentucky are going to have to get creative, and no one can be certain for how long. A 723 Vapor employee estimates there will be a loss of several thousands of dollars daily without the foot traffic coming in and out of those stores.

“I’ll take the loss, if it helps our customers, and my employees,” Florence said.