ATLANTA — Businesses across the nation have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Labriah Lee Holt said she felt fearful when it came to her business in Atlanta, “Sweetroots Hair Bar”, when she was forced to shut down during the pandemic.
“Terrified. It’s a service business,” she said. “My business has been affected like all businesses," Holt said.
"At Sweetroots Hair Bar, we pride ourselves in being able to service our clients efficiently and being able to maximize our space and in this era, that’s all stopped," Holt added.
She said she is fortunate to receive an emergency loan through the Paycheck Protection Program. That makes her one of more than 130,000 recipients in Georgia during the second-round of loans, according to the SBA.
“We’re looking forward now thanks to funding from the SBA, the economic disaster relief, and through others to get all of the materials we need,” Holt told 11Alive.
Now, she’ll pass the on her knowledge. On Wednesday night, Holt will take part in the SBA’s 100,000 Strong entrepreneurship recovery effort.
Atlanta hip-hop star and entrepreneur Tip “T.I.” Harris will co-host the virtual town hall along with Ashley Bell, the Regional Administrator for the SBA who was appointed by President Trump.
“We think if we give you enough tools, you can build a path forward for the success of your business and your non-profit,” said Bell.
Bell said the call will reach 100,000 people across the south, connecting them to resources like banks, technical help, and experts to walk business owners through getting loans.
“Minority entrepreneurs in the state of Georgia have zero to ten days of working capital which means when the doors close, the clock is ticking. We are afraid we can lose a generation of entrepreneurs if we don’t get this right. Tomorrow is an opportunity for us to get this right, to reach the people who need the help the most,” Bell said.
Holt said because of help like this, there’s hope for small business owners like her.
“I’m encouraged at how the community has shown up during this time,” she said.
The discussion kicks off Wednesday May 20 at 6 p.m. It can be streamed live here.
1Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.
We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information.