LARGO, Fla. — At a time when they need it most, financial help is on the way for hundreds of local businesses in Largo.
“Great, we all need the help,” said Jimmy Stoupas, owner of Ted’s Luncheonette.
Ted’s Luncheonette is one of several businesses that were already hurting due to the road construction on Rosery Road. The city shut the road down from Missouri Ave. to the Pinellas Trail.
Stoupas said his business has lost thousands because of that project.
Gov. Ron DeSantis forced all bars and restaurants to close their dining rooms — back in March— to stop the spread of the virus. Several businesses, like salons and barber shops, are now closed.
Some restaurants, like Ted’s and The Rib Shack BBQ, are still open for take-out.
“That’s good, but I'm putting my own money in it just to keep it open," Stoupas said.
Cory Miller owns the Rib Shack on West Bay Dr. He’s in the same position as other business owners.
“It’s been different challenges, one thing after another,” he said. “We are staying here and we’re gong to be here when this is done.”
Stoupas and Miller are two of just a few owners that have managed to keep their staff on without any layoffs.
Stoupas said he’s cut their hours, and he’s had to go into his own money to pay them.
“I don’t want to lay any of them off," Stoupas said.
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In an effort to help 358 local businesses, city leaders agreed to give them all a $1,000 grant.
“That’s wonderful,” said Miller.
The grants will cost the city $358,000. It’s unclear where they will get the money from, but leaders are determined.
They’re hoping to make the funds available by the end of next week.