LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It didn't take long after the coronavirus pandemic hit before we started to see some local businesses post that they would be closed permanently. The financial hit from the pandemic was enough to do some Kentucky businesses in. On top of that, some downtown Louisville storefronts faced another challenge with looting during early nights of protests against police brutality.

Jennifer Rubenstein with the Lousiville Independent Business Alliance said it's been a challenging time for local entrepreneurs, but she is holding out hope that many will bounce back.

"It's difficult. It certainly adds a layer of difficulty that nobody was looking for, but at the same time, I have been amazed by their resiliency. Do I think every single member business will survive the pandemic? I don't know. I don't think every single one of them will," Rubenstein said.

When businesses had to close their doors for months on end, most didn't have enough saved up to get by. That's when they turned to options like disaster loans, PPP, and some local grants to help them get through until the state said they could safely reopen. 

"It's not pleasant, but they have really done the things they need to do to survive. They looked for sources of loans and grants, how to promote their business in a whole different world and how to do business while supporting causes they love even if it puts their business in a precarious position," Rubenstein said.

As the state continues to slowly reopen, many businesses are welcoming more customers back. However, others have opted to stay closed a little while longer or stick with curbside only for the time being. 

No matter if it is through in-person visits, ordering pickup, or buying gift cards, Rubenstein said it is important to continue shopping locally during this difficult time for area entrepreneurs.