Downtown businesses feeling hit after COVID-19 forces closures

Downtown businesses feeling hit after COVID-19 forces closures

PARAGOULD, Ark. (KAIT) - Businesses in downtown Paragould continue to feel the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Right now, 163 workers are without paychecks.

Some continue to work with online sales and curbside pickup. Farrel Gibson, the owner of Terry’s Café, said these methods do not work for him.

“It was going really well,” Gibson said. “We were doing good and we kept on trying to improve. As of March 20, when they shut down the dining areas, we tried back door curbside, but it did not work for us.”

The financial burden for Gibson hasn’t let up since closing.

“Financially, it’s been terrible,” he said. “I have no income. I went and took a personal loan out to pay my bills, to catch up. I’ve looked at all the grants."

He’s been turned down for some monetary assistant grants, and others he’s waiting to hear back on.

Gibson says all he can do right now is take it one day at a time.

“We’re just hanging in there, just doing it day by day,” he said. “We’re getting this place cleaned up. When we open back up, people will know it’s clean and germ-free. That’s all I’m asking is people come back and support me, that will get me going more than anything.”

Seven employees at Terry’s Café are waiting to hear back from Gibson. He says once they can reopen, he will. He says those employees will get their job back.

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