NFIB State Director Tom Underwood said today that an unintended side effect of social distancing and other restrictions is that it’s taking a tremendous financial toll on Kentucky’s small businesses.
“This has been an unbelievably tough year for small business owners and their employees and families,” Underwood said. “Some people lost their jobs because of the sudden drop in sales, and some businesses that meant to close temporarily discovered later they had closed for good.
“Governor Beshear’s latest restrictions may help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, but they could also be the straw that breaks the camel’s back as far as some small businesses are concerned.
“That’s why people need to make the effort to continue supporting local businesses as best they can.
“NFIB surveyed its small business members last month. We found that while some were doing OK, about one in five said they’ll have to close their doors if current economic conditions don’t improve in the next six months. Another 19% said they could last only seven to 12 months under current conditions.
“Small business is the backbone of our economy. It accounts for 99.3% of all businesses in the commonwealth and employs nearly 44% of Kentucky’s workforce,” Underwood said. “We can’t afford to lose our small businesses.
“NFIB is asking Congress to pass additional financial assistance to help small businesses get through this crisis, but there are simple steps the rest of us can take to help local businesses avoid layoffs and keep the doors open:
We can continue to practice social distancing and follow other guidelines and still shop local and shop small – not just on Small Business Saturday but throughout the holiday season.
“If we can’t shop in person, we can shop local businesses online or order by phone and take advantage of delivery or curbside pickup.
“Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, isn’t just about retail. It’s about restaurants, too. All kinds of restaurants, including a lot of fancy sit-down places, now offer take-out and delivery. If you’re looking forward to sitting down at your favorite restaurants with our family and friends when the pandemic is over, you need to support those restaurants now.
“Small businesses aren’t owned by some faceless corporation based someplace else. They’re owned by – and employ – our family and friends and neighbors. Without our small businesses, Kentucky’s economy will really be in trouble.”