LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - For small business owners in Louisville, it has been a brutal five months. After state-mandated shutdowns and restrictions because of COVID-19, some businesses open their doors to looters who created thousands of dollars in property damage.
Now some local businesses have discussed leaving the city.
“If violence and COVID-19 continues to be bad in a given area, Louisville or elsewhere, you would certainly expect people to leave,” Dr. Joshua Pinkston said.
Dr. Pinkston, the Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Louisville, said the coronavirus pandemic created a “big economic issue” for Louisville.
“We needed to take advantage of the lockdown to get testing ramped up to the point that when we left lockdown, we could keep things under control,” Dr. Pinkston said. “Largely, it looks like the lockdown was wasted.”
As some businesses slowly reopen, some owners told WAVE 3 News they cannot bring back their full staff.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest report, Jefferson County’s unemployment rate in May was 11.8 percent, which was lower than the national rate of 13.3 percent.
However, Dr. Pinkston said the unemployment rate appears to be improving in Jefferson County since the start of the summer.
He urged the public to follow CDC guidelines to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases. Once the pandemic is under control, he said restrictions may be lifted and more people can go back to work.