LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -COVID-19 has thrown small businesses a major curve-ball. Luckily, several programs have been started to help struggling business owners.
Moving into Phase 2 of reopening did help some small businesses, but customers may be less likely to shop at certain shops due to coronavirus concerns.
Louisiana Economic Development is providing a program to help small businesses ramp up their online sales.
The LA Small Biz online program seeks to help boost E-commerce, since that is where the pandemic has shifted the a large portion of transactions.
Susan Thibodeaux, with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center, says the program could be a huge help for small business owners.
“So what Louisiana Economic Development has done is, they see that there’s a need for small business owners to find another avenue of making money. A lot of our small business owners do not use E-commerce at all. So, they see that there’s a need for them to diversify,” Thibodeaux says.
The program’s goal is to help small businesses expand their E-commerce capabilities by offering different online tools.
“Online sales are expanding and it’s just the way to go, right now,especially with the pandemic.”
Dead Pedal Coffee is a small business based in Lake Charles.
Co-owner Blaike Andreas says online sales are a way to grown their brand.
“So, we’re online because we want to reach as many people as possible, and a lot of people are going online. We’re able to reach a diverse over the nation versus just here in our own backyard. We sell a lot in Lake Charles, Moss Bluff, Sulphur, Southwest Louisiana because we are very local, but online helped us reach other people.”
If small businesses are struggling, Thibodeaux says to seek out help.
“People just need to reach out for help. I mean the help is there. The state realizes that our small businesses are what drives our economy.”
The program offers webinars every day at 5 p.m. on their website.