LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - With a pandemic and two hurricanes, the last year hasn’t been easy for local small businesses, that’s why the City of Lake Charles created the Small Business Stabilization Program.
Born from the CARES Act, Mayor Nic Hunter says the city used the funding to create the Small Business Stabilization Fund.
“We designed this Small Business Stabilization Program - it’s actually a forgivable loan. And we used the federal guidelines to make sure that we’re following all of the rules, but this was made available to local small businesses inside the City of Lake Charles.”
There were 24 businesses, including Diamond Divaz Dance and Bayou A Dress for Less, received $5,000 checks. It’s something they say will go a long way.
Burnadette Watt, Director of Diamond Divaz Dance, had to relocate her business to Broad street because of the hurricanes.
“Before COVID-19, we had 17 or 18 girls per group, and now, maybe we have 6 per group. So, COVID-19 took a toll and then when lost the studio it got even worse. Some of us are dealing with our personal issues, as well as our business issues. So, it’s a lot. It’s stressful, so I’m very happy for this.”
Owner Russie Rogers from Bayou A Dress for Less says that $5,000 is a helpful boost.
“Five thousand dollars goes a long way when you don’t have anything. And then all of a sudden, you’re given $5,000. You know it’s a blessing, it really is.”
The city says they are planning another round of applications soon.