Small businesses already impacted by COVID-19 worried about closure

Posted at 4:24 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 20:23:05-04

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — Small businesses across the country are taking a hit.

A number of small businesses say if things don't get better, they may have to close up shop permanently.

Finnleys owner Dawn Craig started her clothing boutique about 5 years ago in Franklin. Since then, the small business has expanded to two other locations, 12 South and The Gulch.

But now business is taking an unexpected turn when it comes to sales because of the coronavirus. Foot traffic is dropping and now in order to slow the spread, Craig has decided to close their shops until March 27th.

"I'm worried we will have low long-lasting effects from the economic slowdown," Craig said.

Many small business are having to get creative when it comes to bring business in.

Craig has nearly 30 employees that she is still paying despite the store being closed. She's been pushing customers to buy online or on instagram and encouraging folks to buy gift cards that they can use for later.

"I would hope that they would still buy," said Craig, "I think that we are impacted by people not getting out and making the purchases they normally would make."

Craig says she's taking it day by day but if things don't get better, she worries about having to close up shop permanently.

The state has announced multiple ways they are helping those who lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Tennessee Department of Labor is working to help with the use of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.

It will allow those who have been quarantined or have lost their jobs to receive unemployment benefits.