Since the start of the Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority’s (LEDA) Business Recovery Program, 28 small business owners financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have received $187,494 in forgivable loans. Financial assistance helps retain and create jobs and stabilize local businesses.
Vee’s Sitter Services is one of those businesses that took a financial hit, especially during the state lockdown. Owner Vanessa Landry dedicates her life to caring for seniors in their homes, nursing homes and assisted living and questioned whether her business would survive. “Because of the pandemic, we were not able to get in-home clients and couldn’t visit clients in hospitals and assisted living facilities,” Landry said.
With COVID-19 remaining a public health emergency, Landry’s business hasn’t fully recovered as some families have temporarily discontinued services to limit exposure to their elderly loved ones. Receiving a $6,600 check from the Lafayette Business Recovery Program has provided relief, helping Landry with operational expenses “to stay afloat, to have a bit of cushion to bridge the gap,” Landry explained.
The program benefits for-profit businesses in Lafayette Parish, with LCG’s Department of Community Development securing $752,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds allocated through the CARES Act. LEDA provided an additional $200,000.
The program allows business owners to apply for a forgivable loan up to $10,000. Funds are used for, but are not limited to, operational expenses such as rent, payroll, insurance, benefits and utilities. The Department of Community Development will continue to process applications until Lafayette Business Recovery funds are expended.