COVID-19 relief aid available for Louisiana nonprofits, small businesses

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – Face to Face Enrichment Center is short on mentors for at-risk kids across the capital area.

“We’re trying to come up with creative strategies to be able to reach more people, but it’s not as effective to be able to get out there and interact with people directly,” said Gabrielle Johnson, CEO and Founder of Face to Face Enrichment Center

The nonprofit connects kids with adult role models and works with juvenile offenders. The past year has been tough because of the pandemic.

“We’ve also had to deal with budget cuts,” Johnson said.” Had to cut staff hours. We had to let staff go at one point. We’ve been really impacted.”

The Louisiana Department of Revenue has a $10 million grant created by state lawmakers to help nonprofits like the enrichment center. Small business owners can apply for assistance too.

“We wanted to make a change in the community,” said Khaliel Kinchen, Owner of Scenic Market Grocery.

The pandemic did not stop Khaliel Kinchen and his family from providing fruits and vegetables in north Baton Rouge.

“The closest store from the neighborhood is like a mile, and now this cuts their walk or bike ride short,” Kinchen said.

Plans to open the Scenic Market Grocery stalled a bit but they were determined to make it happen.

“When the pandemic came, we were still pursuing opening the business, even though we knew what was going on, but we kept pushing and fighting and eventually things came to pass,” Kinchen said.

The grant money from the state can assist small business owners with providing workforce development for their communities.

The grants are up to $25,000. Application information and eligibility guidelines will be available online at www.revenue.louisiana.gov.

If you would like to become a mentor, visit FacetoFaceCenter.org or call 225-250-5739 or 985-345-8850.

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