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Local businesses facing negative impacts of stimulus checks, unemployment

6 months 3 weeks 4 days ago Thursday, April 01 2021 Apr 1, 2021 April 01, 2021 9:57 PM April 01, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The long time breakfast and lunch spot, Zeeland Street Market on Perkins Road, is temporarily shut down- a possible side effect of the pandemic.

"I have not seen anything like this except during a natural disaster like a hurricane," Stephanie Phares says.

Phares has owned and operated Zeeland St. Market for 32 years.

She is currently interviewing applicants after most of her employees stopped showing up for work. A job at her restaurant can start at
$12 an hour.

"Right now we're looking for everything, front of the house, back of the house, cooks, busmen, and cashiers," Phares said.

Two weeks ago, Phares had a full staff of 12 employees. A few days later, she was down to just four.

"It was on that Monday, I showed up and the staff didn't," Phares said.

Phares decided to just to close for one week, so she can hire and train more
workers.

She says her employees stopped coming in around the same time the $300 unemployment bonuses and the $1,400 stimulus checks started to arrive.

"It has become more of 'if I don't have to work, if I can get a check, we're going to wait and see how it goes,'"" Phares said.

The Zeeland Street Market expects to have enough employees to reopen by Monday.

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