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Fischer pleads with community to push for more federal relief to help small businesses

Original relief helped less than 1,000 establishments in Louisville. There are 2,700 small businesses in the city.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The coronavirus pandemic has claimed several small businesses, and analysts predict there are even more to come.

One of the latest closings was Comfy Cow's location at Bardstown Road and Eastern Parkway — the owners saying they decided not to renew their lease. 

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer made a plea with the community Wednesday to call on state representatives to step in and help with more federal funding.

"Small businesses are critical to our local economy," Fischer said. "They are kind of the soul of this city with their unique services and products, and we have to make sure they are here at the end of this pandemic."

The first COVID-19 relief fund provided roughly $27.1 million to 824 businesses. Around 50 other businesses got small interest loans. Still, Fischer's office said there are around 24,741 establishments in Louisville, with around 2,700 of them considered small businesses.

Shops like All is Fair in Love and Fashion used their money to pivot and redirect their normally high-end boutique to something more COVID-19 friendly.

The additional money also helped with paying for rent and any expenses that came with getting the store up to code. But places like Janes Brothers Hardware said they've been fortunate to not have to ask or receive any additional funding.

Renewal licensing fees for bars and restaurants have been waived to help alleviate some of the financial burden, but Fischer said he continues to encourage people to push their representatives to get more funding for the city.

RELATED: House passes temporary bill to avoid shutdown, buy more time for COVID-19 aid talks

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