Coronavirus impacts candy sales at Rebecca Ruth

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The coronavirus has hit businesses hard, even those that have been around for a century.

Rebecca Ruth Candy has been a staple in Kentucky for more than 100 years, but Owner Charles Booe says the coronavirus has led the company to some hard times.

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“It’s gonna hurt and it’s gonna put us several years behind on our projects,” Booe says. “Sales are way down. It’s really hurting us. We’re running in the red.”

Tours aren’t being offered at Rebecca Ruth right now, and because it’s such a small store, only two customers are allowed in at a time.

Some customers say they didn’t even know the shop was open. Each of these factors is putting a huge dent in its normal profit.

“Typically, this is the big tourist month down here at our Second Street location, and so our foot traffic here is particularly hurt,” Booe says.

With its long history, outbreaks and disasters aren’t new to Rebecca Ruth. However, setbacks always hurt a company, no matter how long its been around.

“We’ve also survived the Great Depression, World War II, World War II sugar rationing,” Booe says. “We’ve survived a fire. We’ve survived a lot of things, a lot of adversity, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.”

Booe says he feels for small companies like his. To reach the light at the end of the tunnel, he says small business owners may have to go back to basics.

“Well you really have to focus what your core is and see if that core will survive this particular situation,” Booe says.

He says, thankfully, he’s been able to keep all of his employees. Booe says he knows loyal, chocolate-lovers over the years are to thank.