OPINION: Kentucky retailers have stepped up during crisis

By Tod Griffin

Tod Griffin
Tod Griffin

Across Kentucky, the COVID-19 outbreak has upended our lives, significantly and suddenly. And while the national pandemic has created a great deal of fear and anxiety, we have also been inspired and encouraged by the generosity, compassion and kind acts we have seen throughout our great commonwealth.

Amid the uncertainty, Kentucky retailers and their employees have stepped up in major ways to ensure you and your loved ones have access to the products and services you need. While this pandemic is forcing us to deliver services differently than before, Kentucky is still open for business—and we thank you for your support.

Most individuals have been told to stay home, but many retail employees are continuing to work around-the-clock to keep shelves stocked. Kentucky businesses of all types and sizes have implemented new policies to ensure the health and wellbeing of their customers.

Restaurants and retailers alike have implemented innovative curbside pickup and delivery services. Others are taking steps to provide bonuses and raises for their employees. Pharmacies are working hard to remain a vital point of care for patients across the commonwealth. Grocery stores are implementing new policies to ensure seniors and other high-risk individuals can shop separately and safely.

The commonwealth’s retail industry is continuing to show up for you—and we appreciate you showing up for us.

At the same time, many store fronts have had to shut down unexpectedly, not knowing when they will be able to open their doors again. That’s why, when this crisis is over, your hometown retailers will be relying on you to support them and their hardworking employees.

For now, we encourage you to continue showing your support for these businesses by ordering from their websites, buying gift cards to use when they reopen, leaving online reviews and engaging with them on social media. These acts may seem small, but they can make a world of difference.

The retail industry is the commonwealth’s largest private sector employer, home to more than 52,000 retail locations, employing over 500,000 people and contributing tens of millions of dollars to our state economy each year. By continuing to support Kentucky’s retailers in the weeks and months ahead, you are supporting our fellow Kentuckians who keep our local economies strong.

We will get through this #TogetherKY.


Tod Griffin is president of the Kentucky Retail Federation.