LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - It's no secret small businesses have seen significant financial impacts after being closed for months.
To help get locally owned businesses back on track, the City of Lake Charles has created two new initiatives.
Reta Durgan, owner of Mama Reta's Kitchen in downtown Lake Charles, says now more than ever is the time to support local.
“I just got back May 17th. So, I was gone almost two months. That really put an impact on my restaurant,” says Durgan.
Businesses like Mama Reta’s are the reason the City of Lake Charles created two new initiatives to get them back on track.
The first is Shop safely LC. “When people see this placard at retail or restaurants, they should know those individuals have taken a pledge they are providing a safe environment for their patrons and employees and are complying by all the guidelines provided by their regulatory agencies,” says Mayor Nic Hunter.
This initiative is something Mama Reta is excited about.
“It reminds them so much of mama’s house, grandmama’s house, auntie’s house. So, I want to keep that same environment, that same spirit,” says Durgan. “When they can come in and come over here come to mama’s house and it’s still safe to come in.”
The second initiative is called the Small Business Stabilization Fund. This will provide local businesses with grants ranging anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000.
However, Nic Hunter advises that there are some eligibility requirements:
“There is a geographic location requirement. Businesses have to be located in the corporate limits of Lake Charles. There is a physical location requirement. A physical location includes a brick and mortar edifice. There is also a low to moderate income requirement. Either the business owners have to meet the income requirements or they have to employ low to moderate income employees.”
Mama Reta hopes to take advantage of those funds to help with overhead costs.
“It could help me to keep me going so I don’t have to leave from downtown. I want to stay down here and keep serving my customers like I have been for almost six years.”