Grant to help struggling small businesses stay afloat
SOUTH BEND, Ind.—South Bend Mayor James Mueller and the Diversity and Inclusion leadership joined together at the Century Center in South Bend on Wednesday, awarding resiliency grants of $5,000 to 50 small business owners and entrepreneurs who have been heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic to help them get back on their feet again.
“The city of South Bend is ready to roll up its sleeves and figure out how can we have you succeed, how can we help you grow,” South Bend Mayor James Mueller said.
“Our mayor created this office to be a benefit to our community in many different ways, one way is to support our business community our small business community,” South Bend Diversity and Inclusion Officer Michael Patton said.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, many businesses have struggled financially, some even closing up their doors temporarily, or have even been left to find different avenues to stay afloat.
“I’m a wedding photographer and of course a lot of weddings have been canceled or postponed this year so that’s really impacted me financially,” Photographer Monica Brazier said. “Since COVID but I’ve had to do, I’ve had to adjust I’ve had to pivot and do other things to financially sustain family and this grant money will just help us breathe a little bit better.”
Today, thanks to this grant money, that dark cloud now has its silver lining.
“I consider it a blessing and just gives me hope for the future.” Brazier said.
“It means so much to me, again it helps me with my business expenses, my businesses insurance and all the other expenses that we have,” Soul Food Kitchen LLC Owner Laquisha Jackson said.
“It shows me that I have been putting my time and energy into the right areas it shows me that my business is going in the right direction,” Fancy Delights Owner Monnese Plummer said.
Business owners said that what was once lost hope, now feels whole again.
“When you’re an entrepreneur especially in the starting stage or whatever stage you’re in, it’s always a risk and I feel like people need something to hold onto and when the pandemic hit, people lost hope,” Jackson said. “Thanks to the city of South Bend and this grant this is going to really five people their hope back, this is going to give people their fire back and to know that they can still thrive in their business and continue to move on.