LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - In less than two weeks, Kentucky restaurant owners and employees will find out if they’ll be able to do more than just carry-out; Gov. Andy Beshear put a halt to in-person dining until at least Dec. 13 to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Now, some business owners are struggling to survive, with many trying to figure out how to keep employees on the payroll and pay bills.
“I’m very concerned for every restaurant owner and every person within the service industry,” Khalil Batshon, the owner of Khalil’s on Dixie Highway said.
Tough economic times are here just in time for the holidays.
“We went from 50 % of capacity and 50 % of revenue,” Batshon said, “now were only doing 2 % of what we need to be doing.”
Batshon, however, still counts his blessings, like loyal customers along that have continued to order carry-out. He hopes it’s enough to keep all of his employees on the job.
He also said he applied for the Team Kentucky Food and Beverage Relief Fund, which allows restaurants to receive up to $10,000 for revenue lost during the pandemic.
“We applied for that $10,000 grant‚” Batshon said, “we haven’t received it yet.”
It’s what Batshon did receive in January that helps keep him going. Every year, he helps Southwest Community Ministries with their annual Kids Christmas program that brings toys and clothes to about 200 children in the area. In January, a mother and her two young sons came in to thank Batshon for the previous Christmas.
“The youngest one said, I want to tell you thank you for Christmas. I really appreciate it,” Batshon remembered. “I was in tears.”
He and his employees know how many people in the community are hurting and remind themselves their fears about the future don’t compare to what’s happening now.
“There are people in the service industry right now, that can’t take care of their own families and their own children,” Khalil’s employee Alex Perkins said.
To help their own industry families and anyone else they can they are working with University of Louisville Great and Simmons College Basketball Coach Jerry Eaves.
“Christmas is just, it’s special,” Eaves said, “and we have to understand that.”
Eaves, also the host of Eaves Sports Radio on 1080 WKJK, will bring his radio show to the empty restaurant next week in the hopes of encouraging listeners to fill it up with unwrapped toys and donations.
Eaves thinks a lot about that boy who was thankful for Christmas.
“It brought tears to my eyes because it just shouldn’t happen,” Eaves said, “we have to make sure it is our obligation, people like myself have to make sure we give until we haven’t given enough.”
Donations can be made to Southwest Community Ministries by clicking here or by calling (502) 632-2227. Unwrapped gifts and donation can also be dropped off at Khalil’s on Dixie at 10966 Dixie Highway.