Pandemic restrictions closed 18% of Kentucky businesses


Pandemic restrictions forced nearly 18% of Kentucky businesses to close at least temporarily, federal data show.

Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory where 50% of businesses closed, ranked the highest, while Michigan’s 32% of business closings topped the states.

Nationally, government-enforced lockdowns closed 19% of businesses, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics based on private-sector data compiled between July 20 and Sept. 30. The BLS notes Michigan was followed closely by Pennsylvania (30%); Washington (27%); Vermont, Hawaii and New York (26%).

Kentucky ranked 27 th on the list at 17.8%, more than neighboring Indiana (15.7%), West Virginia (17.1%), Tennessee (14.5%) and Virginia (12.8%), but behind lower than Ohio (20%) and even with Illinois (17.8%).

The BLS reports only six states – South Dakota, Arkansas, North Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, and Nebraska – saw fewer than 10% of businesses closed in response to government mandated restrictions.

Nationwide, 62% of businesses received a loan or grant to help make payroll, with Kentucky (61%) trailing the nation’s highest percentage state in the same category: Alabama and Hawaii (67%). By contrast, the District of Columbia (55%), Montana (57%), and New Mexico (57%) had the lowest percentage of businesses that received a loan or grant.

Like most other states, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear shut down the state in the spring, but he has not issued another shutdown order.

He has limited private social gatherings to a maximum of two households. Restaurants and bars are limited to 50% capacity and service must end at 11 p.m. Also, gyms, fitness centers and pools are also at 50% capacity.

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