NewsCovering Kentucky


Local businesses face lay-offs, uncertain future

Posted at 10:24 AM, Mar 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-21 18:28:54-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — We're starting to hear more about how the near closure of local restaurants and bars is effecting businesses.

Earlier this week, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that all restaurants must close in-person traffic in response to the spread of COVID-19.

One of the many affected local businesses is Great Bagel off of Man o' War Blvd.

To keep their doors open, Great Bagel has had to make several sacrifices.

The co-owner, Robert Swan, tells LEX 18 he had to lay off half of his staff. They also had to cut hours of operation recently.

"We have this big beautiful dining room and no one is allowed in it," Swan noted.

Swan says its crucial to have customers rally together to help them out, but they also want the public to call government officials to ask for help.

"Call them (government officials) and tell them that the small businesses are what run this community," Swan said. "Call them and tell them we need to keep that up."

Another local restaurant, Josie's Restaurant, has been able to continue operating without layoffs.

Manager Susan Mirkhan said they are rotating workers' shifts, however.

This has caused a reduction in each employees' hours. While business has definitely gone down, Mirkhan said she fears it could get worse even after customers are allowed back in.

"There will have to be a big dynamic coming together to try to get the stores, not just our store, but any store reopened," Mirkhan said. "You'll have to factor in getting the staff back in there, and all of that takes capital to get things back up and running."

To support local businesses, you can head to where you can order gift cards and food to small businesses.

Like all other businesses around town, they're hoping the community unites together to support them during this time.