FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 7, 2021
Contact: Press@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, held a roundtable discussion with small business leaders from Kentucky at the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business to discuss how they were impacted by COVID restrictions.
“This panel is acutely aware of the devastating impact that the COVID-19 lockdowns have had on small businesses and families,” Dr. Paul said. “While larger businesses deemed essential were able to continue to operate, capacity restrictions disproportionately hurt smaller businesses, limiting how many customers they were able to serve. We are still at only 60 percent capacity for small establishments here in Kentucky. As local officials continued to keep large businesses open, schools throughout our country, including here in Kentucky, are still not fully operational. This has created many obstacles for working parents and families as they try to make ends meet. Now as vaccine distribution and new therapeutics are widely available, it is imperative that we fully re-open.”
The following individuals participated in the roundtable with Senator Paul:
- Aaron Anderkin is the President of Integrated Sign & Graphic (ISG), headquartered in Lexington, KY.
- Kaelyn Query is the Founder and President of Lexington Event Company and Lex Effect Venues, LLC in Lexington, KY
- Alan Hincks is the owner of Dundee Tavern in Louisville, Kentucky.
- Dawne Perkins is the General Manager of the Team Spirit Shop in Georgetown, Kentucky and is a school reopening activist.
- Adam Hinton is the Vice President of Hinton Mills, a group of five retail farm supply stores and feed mills based in Eastern Kentucky.
“The biggest challenge has been to have the products our customers need. If you can find them obviously the price of goods right now is a lot higher than we’ve dealt with. Customers call and ask for the price. We’re very commodity based and you’re at the mercy of the market but that’s our biggest challenge right now and to be able to continue to find staff. We are down seven staff members right now since the start of the pandemic. We’ve advertised the positions we’ve just haven't been able to fill. These are the two biggest challenges we face right now,” said Mr. Adam Hinton.
“We shut down on March 17. We were mandated to close. Events were not considered essential, and we did not reopen until July 1. After that point, we slowly reopened. Most folks had canceled events at that point until there was a real sign of when things would get back to normal. And then we shut down again at the end of October, beginning of November. We didn't open until December. We are just now getting back into the swing of things. Most events have been pushed, postponed, or canceled. Some of which are not going to coming back ever. Now we're in a situation where folks want to be back in the event world. They want to be back at events like weddings, conferences, festivals. But our industry is working twice as hard for half the pay with a quarter of the staff. Some folks are still on unemployment. Some have moved on to other industries. So we are trying to reopen, but it's hard to do without the bodies to make it happen,” said Ms. Kaelyn Query.
Watch Senator Paul’s roundtable by clicking HERE.