Thibodaux, La. – (May 19, 2020) – The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Nicholls State University and Chevron partnered to create a virtual pitch competition to help with COVID-19 recovery in Lafourche, St. Mary, Assumption and Terrebonne parishes. As part of the competition, each small business submitted a statement on how COVID-19 has affected them and how the funds will be utilized if selected as a winner. The SBDC has now awarded eight Bayou Region small businesses $5,000 each to go toward recovery efforts.
Winners included Big Mike’s BBQ, Conner’s Repair Service, Country Kids Learning Academy, The Cove, Dat Sauce, Root2Rise, White Car and Workout360.
“Chevron believes in contributing to the areas where we live and work and, especially during this challenging time, supporting Louisiana small businesses,” said Leah Brown, Public Affairs Manager for Chevron’s Gulf of Mexico Business Unit. “We’re proud to partner with Nicholls to help a diverse group of local companies. Through these funds and the incredible work of Nicholls’ Small Business Development Center, we hope to see these businesses recover and thrive.”
“When the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, it created a dark cloud of uncertainty over the Bayou Region and its future,” said Jimmy Nguyen, Assistant Director of SBDC. “Nicholls and SBDC established this contest to provide hope for these businesses to progress forward. With Chevron’s generous donation, it provided not only financial relief but a boost of human energy to help the region overcome these challenges and become stronger.”
As mentioned, Country Kids Learning Academy was one of the eight winners chosen by a panel of SBDC consultants. Owners Bonnie and Casey Soulet said that the pandemic caused renovations to their facility to fall five weeks behind schedule. The academy plans to use the funds to purchase technology to support student learning.
“It means a lot to us that our company was a winner in the competition because it will directly benefit the students of Country Kids Learning Academy by funding a mobile computer lab and learning tablets. It will also fund activities for students to explore and experiment with force and motion, magnetism, engineering, rollercoasters, ramps, chain reactions and more,” said Bonnie Soulet. “We look forward to providing these valuable opportunities for our students. This says a lot about our company and the fact
that people believe in our business idea, our determination and our knowledge in the childcare and early childhood education industry.”