While many local businesses in Kentucky are struggling to stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic, some are continuing their efforts to provide to the community.
Owingsville is home to Erma’s Dairy Bar, a family-run restaurant that has been in operation for 49 years. Due to the demands for Kentucky residents to stay quarantined unless absolutely necessary, Erma’s has been taking precautions to keep their employees and customers safe.
“We’ve been delivering to older people in the community, people who are working at nursing homes or wherever we can help out,” said Zach Horton, manager of Erma’s and grandson of the owner. “I’ve had older customers call in delivery and I’ve taken them some toilet paper and some groceries. I just try to help however I can.”
Delivery is not the only mechanism Erma’s has used in order to stay safe and in business. Precautions such as reduced business hours, emphasis on call ahead orders and benches out front being taped off from the public are attempts to prevent exposure to COVID-19.
Intense sanitation throughout the business day has also been a method of protection used. Although there is not much contact between the customer and employee due to a glass shield, no one can afford to take the risk of infection.
“Every time someone leaves the window, we bleach it,” said Horton. “I feel like I’m not putting anyone in danger, whether that be the employees or the customer. It’s a matter of staying clean and staying on top of everything.”
Horton said keeping Erma’s open during the crisis is important for employees who can’t just take an unemployment check to support their families and for those who may not be able to cook for themselves.
“I would say it’s important, maybe not as important as the EMS, but everybody’s got to eat, too,” said Horton.