LOUISVILLE, Ky. — For 20 years, Red Tree has stood at the corner of Market and Clay with its red doors open to customers.
"When you walk into Red Tree, you walk in and it's an experience," owner Garwood Linton said. "We like to say we want to reach all five of the senses."
However, that experience is being put on hold as it and many other businesses have closed their doors.
"This is like nothing else," Linton said. "Everyone, every industry is being affected."
Linton made the decision to close his store last week amidst concerns over COVID-19. Governor Andy Beshear, D.-Kentucky, ordered all non-essential public retail stores to close at 8 p.m. Monday.
"It really is a voluntary thing," Linton said. "A lot of businesses did shut their doors to do the right thing, to stop the spread of this."
Beshear is allowing some shops to stay open, including grocery stores, pharmacies, and warehouse clubs and supercenters. But his order will close the doors on places like florists, clothing stores and bookstores, like Carmichael's.
Beshear is allowing some shops to stay open like grocery stores, pharmacies, warehouse clubs, and supercenters but his order will close the doors on places like florists, clothing stores, and book stores like Carmichael's.
"Being 100 percent honest, yes, we're really worried," Carmichael's co-owner Kelly Estep said. "I don't think you can own a business right now and say that you aren't worried."
According to Estep, the bookstore is continuing to stay open to customers with its online ordering and by expanding its delivery and pickup program, which is something other stores, including Red Tree, have also adopted.
"We are just looking for what we can do to keep our business going but almost more importantly keep our employees paid and working," she said.
Estep said while this model may work, for now, it is not sustainable for the long-run. And while these business owners don't know when this will be over, they will continue to rely on their customers to keep coming back, even if they can't come through the door.
"We're in a whole new world and I hope this new world is temporary," Linton said. "I thank you so much and other businesses thank you so much."