Legacy Foundation has awarded $50,000 in grants to help small businesses in Gary and East Chicago that have struggled because of the coronavirus pandemic and the shutdowns that followed.
Indiana Black Expo and the Legacy Foundation teamed up to award 17 small businesses in north Lake County grants between $2,500 and $5,000 through the COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund.
“We wanted to help, in some way, those businesses that were severely impacted, like barbershops and restaurants that had to completely shut down,” said Kelly Anoe, Legacy Foundation vice president.
Grants went to businesses with fewer than 25 employees and revenue less than $1 million. Recipients included BMO Home Health Care, Boulevard Shrimp, Clean Paws Mobile Grooming, Comfortable Conversations, Dialogue, Harbor Barbers, J's Breakfast Club, JMD Construction, Main Sporting Goods, Metro Foods, Mother's Little Tots, Playboy Barber & Style Shop, Rudeone Kustomz, Shear Creations, Sun Appliance Repair, Triple T's Top Notch Homemade Sandwiches, and Uniquely Yours Beauty Salon.
Jeffrey Colby, the owner of the third-generation Playboy Barber and Style Shop in Gary, was forced to close for two months this year. He said he is grateful to get a grant to support a business his grandmother and mother started in 1965.
“Being around for over 50 years, Playboy Barber Shop is an institution in Gary,” Anoe said.
Minority-owned small businesses were prioritized. A Stanford study found the number of small businesses fell 22% from 15 million in February to 11.7 million in April, while black-owned businesses plunged by 41% and Hispanic businesses by 32% during that two-month period.
For more information, visit www.legacyfdn.org.
Gallery: The Pav at Wolf Lake has some coronavirus PSAs