Small businesses cope with closures related to pandemic

Coronavirus Watch Kentucky

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) Local and state governments aren’t the only ones finding ways to adapt to lost revenue. Small businesses that are closed still must pay bills, even when they’re not open.

Gayle Leibfried of Brackins Pet Grooming says she’s had customers calling her to see if they’ve reopened since her business had to close late last month. She’s told them she hopes to be open again soon.

“It is very frustrating and primarily because I have to tell my clients I don’t know when and I’ll call them when the governor releases the lockdown,” she says.

Leibfried says she’s still paying utilities and other bills even while closed. She’s talking with her bank on getting federal small business relief, but she worries more about her co-worker.

“It’s just one of those things where I don’t get paid if we don’t have any business. The girl that works with me doesn’t get paid, and it makes it hard to make ends meeting,” says Leibfried.

A study by J.P. Morgan Chase showed small businesses on average have less than a month of cash on hand. Some industries like restaurants average 16 days of cash on hand, others including real estate companies as much as 47 days.

Other stores that are still open have been affected by different types of closures. Owners of Doolin’s Grocery Store in Ohio County say they’ve had to close off their dine-in section, which was a large part of their business.

“Around noon, the store is usually full of people coming to get lunch,” recalled Elvis Doolin, who runs Doolin’s Grocery Store. “That makes up a large part of my business.”

Doolin says the store’s made up some lost business through new customers who started shopping closer to home.

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(This story was originally published on April 7, 2020)

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