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More small business assistance available

Posted by: George Swift on Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Our region is fortunate to be home to dozens of industries that not only provide good-paying careers, but also make financial contributions for the well-being of our area. No company has exemplified this any greater than Cheniere Energy. 

Each year as part of Washington Mardi Gras, Cheniere selects an organization to support to serve community needs. This year, since Washington Mardi Gras was not held, a virtual announcement was made. Jack Fusco, president/CEO of Cheniere Energy, announced last week that Cheniere Energy Foundation has donated $100,000 to fund the third round of the SWLA Alliance’s “Pathway to Small Business Recovery” Grant Program. To date, over 100 small businesses have received $3,000 to help them recover after last year’s hurricanes and the COVID-19 shutdown within our region. 

As directed by Cheniere, this third round of funding will be distributed to minority and/or woman-owned businesses within Calcasieu and Cameron parishes. This vital assistance is needed for businesses still picking up the pieces after Hurricanes Laura and Delta as well as our economic slowdown stemming from COVID-19. 

The application process is simple. A one-page application is on the SWLA Alliance website (www.allianceswla.org/Pathway), and also available at The SEED Center, 4310 Ryan St. in Lake Charles, between 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday thru Friday. Businesses who previously received a Pathway Grant are not eligible. Businesses will need to submit a new application to be considered. 

For more information, email pathway@allianceswla.org

To apply, each applicant must be able to provide documentation of the following: 

  • The for-profit company has been in business for two years, and is registered with the Louisiana Secretary of State.
  • Minority and/or woman-owned. 
  • Within Cameron or Calcasieu parish. 
  • Have less than 25 employees. 
  • How they plan to use the grant.

 

Grants of $3,000 will be available. Deadline for the application is March 19. 

The grants will be distributed on March 30.

 

The Pathway to Recovery Grant Program was initially made possible by a $150,000 seed grant from the Sempra Energy Foundation and followed up with a second round of funds from the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana. Thanks to Sempra, The Community Foundation of SWLA and now Cheniere, well over 130 businesses will receive financial assistance. The Alliance has received over 600 grant applications so the need continues. Other funds are being sought to continue these grants. Any organization that can contribute to the Pathway Grant can contact The Alliance. 

 

In addition to the Pathway Grant, Cheniere has also funded the Boys and Girls Club in Lake Charles and contributed over $1 million in hurricane relief. We are fortunate to have corporate citizens such as Cheniere in our region. With the support of these industries and many other businesses and individuals, Southwest Louisiana is demonstrating our resilience. We will rebuild stronger and better than before. And that is good news for future generations.

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