Where shutdown has hurt some Laurel businesses, others look to carry the torch

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LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT)- Phase two of Governor Beshear's reopening plan for businesses included a number of milestones such as the reopening of some government offices on Monday while retail stores and restaurants reopened at around one-third capacity on Wednesday.

But, according to the London Sentinel-Echo, a number of businesses that not reopen this week due in large part to the impact of COVID-19.

An April video from the London-Laurel County Economic Development Authority's Executive Director Paula Thompson confirms at least four local businesses that were among those which would close permanently due to COVID-19.

Businesses including Sleep Outfitters, located in the London Marketplace on Ky. 192; Allen Dental, located in the London Shopping Center; Madison Avenue, located in Shiloh Landing, and Laurel Fitness, in the Dogpatch Trading Center, both off of West Ky. 80.

Gordmans in the London Shopping Center is another store that will close permanently after parent company Stage Stores filed for bankruptcy last week.

Gordmans used to operate as Goody's, which was bought out by Stage Stores in 2017.

Gordmans will reportedly reopen and liquidate its stock before closing permanently closing unless the business is purchased by another company.

However, Thompson also mentioned a number of new businesses that would be joining the Laurel community in the next few months.

Businesses such as Starbucks, who took the pandemic as a chance to upgrade their facility while continuing to serve customers via drive-thru.

They have relined their parking area, added a new exterior decor, upgraded the inside of the business, and added outdoor seating.

Meanwhile, other reopening businesses include the full-service salon McQueen and Co., a third location for the Bar & Grill Butcher's Pub, and the gardening and specialty store 25 Produce which initially opened back in April.

The former London Town Mall motel on South Main Street is also under renovation in order to give it a more retro look, as is the current trend with motels.

As more and more businesses open and restrictions are eased, social distancing and frequent sanitizing will remain in effect for the foreseeable future.